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Sitting on the dock of the bay - dreaming of regeneration

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A sense of expectation as you rise and observe that the window contains a view of morning sun on a calm, almost transparent, sea. This day has the promise of all those holidays of my youth that started with an eastern nautical view. A day of fantasy in sand and, later, model boats.A day in prospect on the Italian sea-fields.

The silver reflection of the bay looks as though it could support the weight of the world. The icy plains of the north are weak by comparison. This day could be spent in the reflection where people shimmer like a mirage a silver flatness of possibility.

Napoleon sailed into this bay and announced it to be one of the most beautiful havens he had ever seen. The people today also think that, but they choose to ignore the ugliness they have constructed in the form of a wall between them and the sea.

The navy stubbornly occupies a large area of beauty with a vast arsenal of a minesweeper and a submarine. The town is left between port and navy to grasp a piece of waterfront for its own use. It is as if it is peeking through a chink in the curtain to lay claim to its slice of beauty.

A boating lake - a minute reminder of a port that might not be there - a place where the young transport their fantasies of fantastic voyages and the old transcend their many years into memories of youth.

Byron swam in this place. Byron was a good swimmer and would cover large distances and time in this haven of liquid. Byron would not swim off the waterfront of La Spezia anymore. No beauty! Smelly water!

A pool to swim along, to reveal a view of the land on the return leg. A removed view resolves the possibility of the town. A town of lost charm can be reinvented from the water.

A waterscape of enticement - an escape from the grid - a place of coming and reduced going.

As I sit on the waterfront looking out over the bay, these thoughts go through my head - as regeneration is on the agenda.

Regeneration can only ever be about poetry, experience and beauty - everything else is secondary.

WA, from a bench on the waterfront, La Spezia

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