Sunday, September 21, 2003

Monday, September 08, 2003

Thursday, September 04, 2003


they were coming down the tor behind me. their conversation drifted into my consciousness.
"...they must have been travellers." (female)
"what are you talking about?" (male)
"them we saw. either travellers or gypsies."
"same difference. travellers. gypsies. all filth. contaminate the land they squat on..."
the sort of conversation you know happens, but still knocks the breath out of you.
I stopped and pretended to admire the view. let them pass. late fifties. he half-bald in pressed viyella beige shorts, white socks, trainers, stocky, thick-necked, pink meat-eating flesh; she in blue flowery crimplene, pale, aetiolated, hair as if coated in dust, a lifetime of cleaning and cooking his tea.
I caught up with them again at the bottom of wellhouse lane. they were looking the road up and down as if it owed them something. they caught my attention.
"excuse me." the male. perfectly polite and smiley. "do you happen to know where the chalice well gardens are?"
"of course."
the entrance is hidden ten metres along a wall to the right. the other way heads out of town. edgarley. west pennard. pilton. shepton mallet, eventually.
I wonder how far they got before they started arguing about what exactly he'd said, that bloke back there.