I had barely heard of Dungeness until I went there last weekend.
I have never been somewhere so strange and wonderful in my life, and now I am in love.
It’s so hard to explain the special feeling the place has. It’s in Kent, by the sea. It has a pub, a disused railway and a nuclear power station. (‘It sounds dreadful,’ my mum said as I told her these facts.) It is scattered with ramshackle cottages, including the late Derek Jarman’s – which has a much-admired garden and a poem painted on the wall. It is the only place in the UK officially classified as a desert.
Apparently it has long been popular with artists (and with stylists and photographers and stuff), unsurprisingly. The moment we drove through it, I was already hatching plans as to how I could buy a tiny wooden hut (‘they must be so cheap!’) and live out my days there in artistic isolation – writing and communing with (bleak) nature and fishing and stuff. Then I found out that a lot of other people have the same idea and it might be a little out of my price range…
Still, I honestly never wanted to leave – after only an afternoon there, its pull on me was palpable. I want to go there on holiday – glorious isolation etc etc, if only temporarily – as a matter of urgency. Maybe one day I will be able to live there.*
(The latest in a long line of ‘I want to live everywhere in the world’. I also currently want to live in France, Seaford and Brooklyn, please.)