online: 29 august

23 august 2003 on the heath again

19:55 at the seat overlooking a wooded valley. This is my first longish walk on the heath since the heatwave stopped me walking far and kept me in the air-conditioned library.

This evening, I am a stranger to recent changes here - the floating island in pond 1 has sunk - the 18 geese are gone - and there are plenty of sweet blackberries. I hope to gather some soon. .. And at this seat there are midges. I can feel them biting so I'll move... But I'm glad to be back where I still feel so at home.

I go to the public toilet but it has already closed for the night - so I dig a small hole in which to bury my traces in the undergrowth. I like the earthiness of that.

20.25 Now I am in the meadow close to the summer holiday funfair - hearing the low beat of diesel generators and a similar beat of amplified music as I look at the llluminated rides and stalls of this synthetic entertainment of wheels and thrills that I do not enjoy . And beyond the trees are the city lights in the dusk - all these things, natural and invented, beneath a nearly motionless sky of pale grey-pink clouds and patches of pale blue.

And now I cannot see the letters as I write - but I can feel the magnified motions of the inkless electronic pencil... I continue in ink on paper - the contrast is greater and I can still see what I'm writing...

Why do people like funfairs - commercialised versions of the inhuman working conditions that result from putting people and machines in close conjunction? Ugh! The glorification of what's wrong in industrial living. But I suppose it's natural to like what you are adapted to.

Time to return... on my way back I noticed cracks in the ground - about 20 metres long and about 5 centimetres wide and 10 or more centimetres deep. I suppose a result of dry weather. The climate seems less stable than it was but that could be an illusion.

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