Friday, May 04, 2007

Digger, first through and yellow.

I walked from Cranbrook to Tenterden along the High Weald Landscape Trail.

1. Early in the day I come to a narrow strip of field marked by long gouges. A lone archaeologist is having a cigarette break. He says that he is checking a long line of trenches to make sure there is nothing valuable in the way of a development. It seems to be dull work. 'I found a flint blade about a mile that way,' he says.

2. I am crossing an unfriendly estate (a sign warns of 'pitballs [sic] patrolling') and the path runs through a damp tunnel with rhododendrons on one side and an unkempt larch wood on the other. Turning a corner, I see daylight and fields and sky and a man at work. As I approach, he opens the gate he has been building and says: 'You can be the first to use it.'

3. Walking through a field of flowering oilseed rape. The path goes right through the middle of the crop, which stands shoulder high. My vision is filled with yellow flowers and the glaucous leaves. It is so bright that I have to squint a little. My nose is filled with the honey scent, mixed with a faintly cabbagey smell. The effect is hypnotic -- I think it's something to do with having two senses overwhelmed.