We left a sunny Wales on Friday for a wet English South Coast. If only the rain had come earlier it might have drowned out the awful David Starkey on Radio Four’s Any Questions, a man for whom the expression ‘he likes the sound of his own voice’ was coined. Instead it hammered on the roof of the car as a far more interesting science fiction tale Landfall unfolded for our listening pleasure. It was difficult to follow the finer points of lateral evolution as our heroes went from being a grumpy cadre of misfits to a celestial forest or something like that. Nothing speeds a journey more than an imagination taken elsewhere.
The road became a confusing series of hypnotic water splashes as I tried to keep the car between the barely visible white lines. I hunched over the wheel and the thought of Amy Johnson bravely battling through clouds in her Gypsy Moth came into my mind, that is until my wife handed me what remained of the Snickers bar I had been consuming. The devils dancing on the roof continued till we reached our destination and their music may well be how the Summer of 2012 will be remembered. Of course, it was climatic conditions like this that helped usher in the French Revolution; lucky then that we don’t have a bankrupt state and corrupt politicians to contend with.
On the Saturday I dragged my son for a walk and much to his delight we were driven back by the rain. We consoled ourselves with a hearty meal at the Old House pub which judging by the number of canine creatures is a must for hungry dog lovers. The food was most pleasant and in sufficient quantity to have me slumped in an armchair dreaming of chasing cats for most of the afternoon. Oh no, that wouldn’t have been me.
I awoke with the rain, now barely a spit, but failed to summon any enthusiasm from the rest of the party. Apparently they had ‘the wrong shoes’ or there were leaves on the line or some such excuse. I set off for my favourite old barn which I’d noticed had been tidied up. To what end I have no idea, as it is still a crumbling ruin but clearly someone likes it as much as me. The road had turned into a river and I discovered that there is indeed something to this concept of the wrong shoes.
I squelched on as best I could and discovered I could take pictures inside the barn if I shoved my camera through a hole. Rather disappointingly the Famous Five were not being held captive nor was there any evidence of recent witch coven meetings. In fact give it couple of hours on a DIY rescue reality show and you could probably turn a tidy profit.
I continued through the muted summer colours struggling to find many more subjects as the rain fell with renewed intensity. The landscape with its cornfields lent itself to panorama and its tone to that of the film ‘The Go-Between‘. I half expected to see a small boy running messages between Julie Christie and Alan Bates. These days they’d be sending each other texts and the small boy would be at home on his computer much like my own and the story would be lost in a blizzard of inconsequence.