A seaside town with a harbour full of fishing boats and tourists, where you can pay to sail across the bay and imagine yourself pulling your living from the lapping waves as the sky soars blue above you. But think about fishing in winter, when you set off hours before dawn; when the lines freeze to your hands as you heave them in, and the waves lurch above you with every turn of the wind.
Where the mountains rise high behind the town and the only road out is sometimes blocked by a sudden fall of snow, a slow slide of mud-choked rocks; a tree, falling away from the sweeps of pine which cloak the mountains' lower reaches, beaten by the relentless slicing of the wind.
There used to be a hospital in the town which people came to from all over: it overlooked the promenade and all day long the patients turned their faces westwards, to the sea, watched the silt-green waves rolling across the cobbled beach, and slowly they improved. Now the hospital buildings are raggedy flats and residents come and go as regularly as the waves on the beach.
There's a university a little inland, quietly failing; to the north, around the peak of the bay, a caravan park. The students, the holidaymakers, the tourists—these transitory people wash through the town, the numbers swelling and retreating like a tide. The real inhabitants—the fishermen and shopkeepers and cleaners, the waitresses and teachers: the permanent inhabitants, the people who live here, with nowhere else to go—what do they do with their days? What do they think? And why do they stay?