Though the heat is repulsive, the benefit is evenings filled either with the drama of lightning storms or beautiful enough for long walks on the beach. Tonight at 8.30 R was paddling along in the sea beside me, under the pier, people still swimming and lounging on the pebbles, along the sea-front, weaving in and out of the long shadows that are cast by the Georgian, Victorian facades of the hotels and guesthouses. The tide was so low tonight that the normally steep and pebbly beach had its underskirt of sand exposed for yards down by the waters edge. The sand is flat and the sea comes in over it in hundreds of small waves, rouched like out-of-date curtains. Also when the tide is that low the submarine barrier across the Solent stands proud of the water - massive concrete blocks dating back to one of the World Wars to stop underwater access to the Naval Base. There are only two passages through it, one close to the beach, the other out in the middle of the Solent. Every year some stupid sailor with no experience sails right over the top of it and rips the bottom of their boat off.
The sky was huge this evening and looked like it should hold circling eagles.
PS David, I'm with you on the power of a storm. It's trite even to say it's awesome being that close to the power of nature - trite but true. A storm is something so exceptional in it's power. I heard lately that a bolt of lightning is ten times hotter than the surface of the sun. We only ever come close to that kind of power in extremis and when we do it is not just humbling but shocking, riveting... Porcelain Skull, you lucky so-and-so. I assume you mean 'riginal' Harry Clarkes. I have more of those disbound illustrations, I look at them a lot, it's possible to get quite lost in the intricacy of them. I'm actually not so taken with the Poe illustrations - not that I don't like them, I just don't think their his best... but the stained glass of his I have seen, now that's something magical.
Also, I meant to say in the last post that the list is of isolated books. The rest of the book is all about cult authors and so their books are dealt with in that section, this list was of books which stood out from the rest of the author's output as individual cult items.