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.)