I close the door behind me as quietly as I can. I take off the mask and gloves that have been mandatory in my new home in Casa Verde. For what I am about to do I need to be free of such things. I turn east down Carrer de Marià Cuber. It is just past 6 in the morning and there is no one around. This is my first proper time out of the house, where I can just wander, for seven weeks.

Strains of Ludivico Einaudi caress my ears. As I approach Plaça de l’Armada Espanyola I begin to see more people. I cross the tram tracks, pass the police station and continue east along Carrer del Dr. Marcos Sopena. A large truck toots as it passes a cyclist in a recumbent bicycle. There are more people now, more than I have ever seen her at this time in the morning. I step onto the rusted tram tracks to keep a safe distance. I pass the tram terminus and head on towards the Hotel Neptuno and there it is.

For nearly three years I lived on a boat. Even when I moved to Russafa last December I would still be at the marina most days, getting Kite ready to sell, right up until lockdown. In the last seven weeks I have missed the sea so much. I recall a moment in 2016 after the dust and the dirt of a nowhere festival. I found myself sitting, watching the sunrise over the sea on Spain’s northern coast, tears streaming down my face. I can feel the tears coming now. Like then they are tears of relief at seeing my old friend and sometimes adversary expanding out to the horizon.

I mop my eyes and check myself. Normally I would be able to cry to my heart’s content here at this time in the morning, with no one to see, but these are not normal times. There are people everywhere. I am reminded of Manley, where my daughter Maxime lives on Sydney’s northern beaches. There hoards of Austrailians rise ridiculously early in their activewear to swim, surf and run before work. Spain’s rules on who can go out when have clearly impacted Valenciano culture and lie-ins have given way to leisure activities.

I was thinking of maybe walking along the sand but there are far too many people already and I feel like being by myself. So as I pass the Hotel, I turn south east to join Carrer Marina Real Juan Carlos I, a part of Valencia’s former Formula 1 street circuit. I walk east along the side of the Marina Beach Bar. I remember that this, of all places, is the last venue in which I danced. There will be no more dancing like that until at least December or until there is a vaccine. I get to the end of the bar, my vista opens up and now, closer to the water, I can see the sea is as calm as millpond. I was just going to sit here but this space is crowded too so I head up the stairs to the marinas promenade and finally I see space.

I sit myself down and stare out to sea. Technically the sun has risen at this point but a bank of cloud on the horizon means it’s not yet visible. As so often in my life I seem to have had all the luck as immediately the sun makes its appearance casting a golden glow across the water. I briefly look down to see the messages of love graffitied onto the concrete blocks that act as protection to the marinas walls. The sun warms my skin and I raise my arms to the sky. I stay sitting for a while. I think about my house move of only a few days ago. I have questioned whether it was really necessary but now, with my new home within allowable exercising distance from the beach, I realise for that alone it was worth it.