a biography of me

I’m fifteen and I’m sitting on the flint and brick wall outside the church, looking across the little roadway that leads to the beach. In my fingers are my pencil and rubber, and on my lap, my sketchpad. My eyes study the little row of cottages, with their small front doors, and their stone steps that open direct onto the sandy road — my hand draws the warped and twisted lines of the tiled roofs and, I place in the detail of the tie-bars.

I can never remember what this road is called — I’m not even sure that it has a name — it’s just the lane at the end of Saxon Road. It’s the road to Pakefield Church. It’s the road that would have run through the village and out the other side before the North Sea carved out the land, stopping short only at taking the church.

In the opposite direction, at the corner where Saxon Road curls round towards the church hall is No. 2, my home for a while. We moved here from Derbyshire, my birthplace, when I was three months, and my Dad got a new job here on the Suffolk coast, in the lab on the cliffs. There was a corner shop at the far end of this road, selling groceries and sweets. There’s still a shop there now, but now it sells fireplaces and you never see anyone go in or come out.