Saturday, 14 July 2007

SETTLEMENTS (time excellently spent)

(originally posted on myspace here)

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To my right (your left) is Ms Meikle. We met arbitrarily (pictured) at a Superthriller gig, when I was in the mood to be met. That was last year. Her veterinary training has come on quite a bit since then, and now they let her inside cows.

She's been staying in a caravan in Dorset, training on a farm, birthing calves, visiting the abbatoirs, waiting for the cows to die, inspecting meat, considering the waste of such finely evolved teeth in the head of an animal that once bled to death has only about a fifty per cent chance of ever being eaten, going for runs and getting shat on a lot. And as mentioned in the previous post I invited myself over. We're both mumblers, but she seemed fine with it over the phone I checked.

My God I learnt so much. The amount of roadkill on the 12 mile stretch from Salisbury to Sixpenny Handley alone was an education. She looked like a millionaire when she picked me up from the station in her bauble-coloured Clio, and it was a red sky at night. And the caravan was family-sized and quiet and stuttered with valances but with everything, like Japan, in its right place. And she'd never heard Miles Davis so I flipped open my powerbook and I put that right and then, as requested (since she'd played me Hot Chip) cradling bulgarian red and amaretto and orange we moved onto Arvo Part, King Oliver and O Superman. "You have a lot of stuff that's good for... if you don't want to think about anything, but you don't want to think about nothing either," I made out, and nodded. And she told me about the local walks and the abbatoir and the time it takes to die from a bullet wound and the great times she had at Matt and Fred's in Manchester just sitting by the music and smoking roll-ups - Ah! - Laurie Anderson pronounced "Smoking? Or Non Smoking" and neither of us are "smokers", but it hits home. And tipsy enough not to mumble, we basked. Like Michael Caine and Clive Owen in the film "Children Of Men" if you've seen that. Exactly like that.

And so it went on for two days: dropped off by Salisbury Cathedral while Ms Meikle went to work... Magna Carter, Second Hand Books, checking out Scope for board games and finding a bag of South American Lying Dice, free tea in the town hall while I sat at a bank of laptops being market-researched... yes, a dip had been reached, I wasn't feeling very much like Ferris Bueller. But: Then: a call from Mia Sara Meikle to say she'd been given the afternoon off. So: Back into the Clio and off to the settlements. Stone Henge, wangling free entrance by impersonating Egon Ronay (both of us! in a big coat! No! Fences are fine. Neither of us have an issue with fences), and then the Roman Villa, four-hundred years in the making, sixteen-hundred years hiding in a hill, mosaics, pins, bones, sun and unburied treasure. And time.

And another day. And a big walk. And an idea for something formenting. Farms and flies around a horse's eyes, which is normal apparently, and a light drizzle so I don't get burnt. And pizza and packing and a lift to the station. And forty-eight hours in which I haven't been rotten to anyone. I am a passenger. I naturally passenge. Thankyou for that, Ms Meikle.

No, I didn't want to come back. Every single paper on the midnight train to Waterloo (I know it's not called that) carried as their main story an event gleaned from a television trailer for a show about the Queen which was unresearched, unimportant and, unlike the weather or the Magna Carter, never even happened in the first place. Where's the facts? Where's the stuff? What did I learn in London today? What corner in what track did I turn to be delighted?

Actually, when I left work at six today, I found, lying in the middle of Joiner Street, pretty dusty and passed on either side by the six o'clock rush, a bra.

I just haven't found a name for it yet.

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