And finally – Notes from a gloomy day in the High Weald

1)  At the head of a spring valley, a tyre dump holds back heaps of horse dung from which nutrients leach into the watercourse.

2) It looks as if ivy has been clasping the tree long enough to be encased in oak bark.

3) An isolated cottage with no discernible means of access is equipped as a holiday house, with books and games. It enjoys a rural view and would be perfectly tranquil were it not for the sounding of train klaxons at the crossing just behind. Moreover, it appears to be one of the few spots on the line where up & down services meet, signals therefore doubled.

4) The inexplicable Stonegate station, which you always overlook in calculating your progress home, where nobody ever gets on or off. But today there are people on the platform. One tows a suitcase. Perhaps they are actors.

5) Old tools, designed for jobs which no longer exist, rust quietly on a north-facing wall.

6) At one farm, sleeping vehicles support lichen-crusted windscreens upon which snails may peacefully graze. At another, state-of-the-art machinery worth millions is parked beside the fragile hollow, skeleton of an oast house. From behind a barn where cattle are munching come the voices of children, who are watching the slaughter of a pig.

7) An old orchard has been genetically modified to produce double-glazing.

8) This fine specimen must be the Magic Money Tree. Although our MP assured us it did not exist, it has sprung into life this very weekend with a gift of £14m to a company to ferry trucks from Ramsgate. (The company has no trucks, nor ferries nor experience with either and Ramsgate port has been closed for 5 years.) Pilgrims are already converging on the miraculous site.

9) “The way up and the way down are one and the same” (Heraclitus) A third way is however hinted at here, albeit in the form of a vacant socket.

10) Previously unknown to me, another monument to a young airman. He was 21. The stone was installed by Shoreham Aircraft Museum  who were so helpful to me in creating a monument to Harry Hamilton near Camber Castle.

11) a) A second-home cottage with the tell-tale signs: curtains drawn, blank lawn, trampoline b) behind the lovingly Wealdified high street (jettying, tile-hanging, weather-boarding) stand monstrous, lowering hill-top houses with glass walls like show-rooms but show no lights.


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