We woke up to fig this morning; we often get it as we live by the sea, but from what I understand today’s fog spread all across the south of England. Fogs don’t seem as dense or long-lasting as they used to, don’t seem? It’s a fact they aren’t s dense or long-lasting! There aren’t the chimneys pumping out smoke any more and the air is much cleaner.
I’ve only twice used fog in something I have written. Once was in ‘Farholm’, my imaginary island off my imaginary coastline; the main characters are trapped on the island by a dense fog which settles for several days. A useful dramatic device! The other foggy scene is in ‘The Double Act’, yet to be published. Genet and Dr Herrick’s relationship is one of the main themes of the novel, and triggers everything else which happens, and leads the characters to a very, very dark place… She is married to Lance and they have a hotel; they also have a bungalow in the grounds and Dr and Mrs Herrick are their tenants:
Genet stood on the back doorstep smelling the early morning and the salty milky air. She had a peculiar urge to walk out into the wetness and she gave into it and stepped barefoot onto the terrace and onto the lawn. The fog was so dense she couldn’t see the top floor of the hotel.
Her feet were cold but it was perversely pleasant and she had an urge to lie down on the wet grass. Her skin was cold and droplets had formed on strands of auburn hair hanging down her forehead. She remembered standing by the sea wall with Dr Herrick, shivering and pressing herself against him.
Footsteps crunched down the drive; he was going to the sea. She hurried back to the house and ran into the bedroom, then ran out of the hotel and had to follow the hedge and the neighbour’s garden walls, the fog was so dense. She walked along the wire fence of the little park and playground and came to the white walls of the coastguard cottages. She crossed over to the sea wall but could see nothing but the grassy banks leading down to the beach. She followed the wall round until she came to the slope down to the little harbour and the fisherman’s huts.
Through the dense fog came voices.
“Hello,” she called. The bait shop was open and a couple of men sat on the step.
“It’s Genet, isn’t it?” It was Heath’s father, his boat somewhere out in the mist.
“Hello, have you seen someone come down here to swim?” she asked breathlessly.
The two men were wearing waterproofs, two old geezers smoking their pipes and talking fish.
“Yes, he comes every morning. He’s over on the other side, he swims off the end of the point and across the bay to Green Rock. Does it every day. Swims like a fish though I told him not to go out today, too dangerous in this fog,” Heath’s father lit his pipe.
“I don’t think he cared, he looked suicidal. If he doesn’t come back I won’t be surprised,” added the other man gloomily. “One of those moody types if you ask me. What is it, manic-depressive is it?” He puffed on his pipe. “First he used to come down he hardly said a word, nodded and that was it. Then we’ve had a sunny couple of months, him whistling as he walked and chatty as anything. Now the last few weeks his face has been as black as sin.”
If you haven’t read, The Double Act, here is a link: