Whitby, Dracula and Cupid

It is a geographical fact that no one in the UK is more than seventy miles away from the sea. As a man who feels happiest with the sea breeze on his face, I was surprised to discover this to be the precise distance from my house to the nearest coastal town, which if nothing else should at least stand me in good stead in the event of a major tsunami – provided it doesn’t happen today.

I am in the picturesque town of Whitby – of Bram Stoker’s Dracula fame. In the novel, Whitby is Dracula’s choice of residence in England.

Judging from the amount of closed curtains and the emptiness of the streets this crisp and sunny morning, it is quite possible that Dracula kept himself rather busier during his two-week stay than Bram Stoker would have us believe.

On the promenade, the only people I see at ten in the morning are dog-walkers descending the steps that lead to the beach, the sand still glistening from the ebbing tide. Whitby is a town of dog lovers, which makes sense, judging from the way they allowed Dracula to run out of his ship and into the country disguised as one. I think it is fair to assume quarantine laws were fairly lax in those days.

I notice with alarm and then awe a solitary surfer launching his board past the first breakers before throwing himself on top of it. That takes commitment. Or stupidity. The North Sea is freezing even in the hottest day of summer, and today the temperature is perishing. Anyone brave enough to venture in has to be prepared to be winched out inside a block of ice, the moment of entry recorded by the frozen expression of shock and horror on their face.

Whitby has a special place in my heart. Do you remember, Ginger, it was one of our first outings together? As I drive through the town, glancing at the places we walked around six years ago, I feel a pang of nostalgia for the days when we were still flushed with the newly discovered excitement of being near each other, like a pair of kids who got the toy they really wanted for Christmas.

The snaking hill where we parked the car; the pub with the tattooed barman who looked like a real pirate, the tarnished gold glinting from his tooth as we ordered a hot cup of tea; the short concrete pier where we got sprayed by the crashing waves; the fish and chips shop and the bench where we sat to eat, battered by gale force winds and rain – it’s all still here.

Who knows, it may have even been here that Cupid himself, while skulking around the grounds of the Abbey, on noticing the two of us climbing up the 199 steps, would have waited until we got within striking range, then slowly reached into his quiver, muttering to himself ‘stupid tourists, arms around each other without a care in the world, you never know who’s about…’

I scan the beach. No sign of the surfer anywhere. I wish you were here today…


9 Responses

  1. I wish I were, too, esp. as Marrakesh is land locked. ~Sigh. Thank you so much for your very kind comment today. It made me blush with pleasure.

    PS I am linking you b/c really a girl can’t be so selfish after all:-)

  2. You are so funny you cheer me
    endlessly – and I don’t know
    if “Ginger” is real –
    but – back pats –
    you sound like a real “catch”


  3. Thanks Sophie. I’m afraid Ginger is very real and three-dimensional…

    A great catch, me? I’m more one of those annoying and undefinable things that get stuck in the net and are quickly tossed overboard by the fisherman….

  4. That was very beautiful.

  5. Is Bunnicula from there too by chance (the vampire rabbit who sucks the juice out of vegetables!)? Sounds like a wonderful morning you have there! Crisp, early morning is my favorite time of day when just about anything may happen!

  6. Darling, a new banner? Perhaps. But better writing? Don’t be a silly boy…

    PS I am allowed to miss my master because I am not Buddhist. She’s just not allowed to miss me:-)

  7. I know, I said it teasingly (about the Buddhist comment, of course)

    A new banner? Definitely! as soon as I learn how to/find an appropriate replacement.

    New writing? I wish. I’m gonna have to settle for what I have instead…

  8. Hi Alexandra, welcome!

  9. Mr Moonke, you write with such beautiful precision. I love it.

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