I brought my notebook with me on a recent trip to a school in darkest Suffolk, which meant that I felt obliged to actually make some notes. This is what I came up with.
My train is called ‘Vice Admiral Nelson’. Why? Sign at station reads: “Colchester – home of Colchester zoo.” Well, where the hell else would it be?
There is a slice of fossilised cucumber on the plastic between the seat cushions.
A lady gets on and sits opposite me. I’ve taken my glasses off to read, so the world is a blur. She reaches down into her dress and does something dramatic to her bust – some sort of rearranging manoeuvre. By the time I’ve put my glasses on, she’s stopped. She’s mediumly pregnant. Don’t know if that has something to do with it. She’s on her phone: “The reason I’m late is because Phil cut himself shaving and we couldn’t get it to stop.” She pronounces ‘no’ with a strange ‘yuh’ sound at the end. It sounds like ‘nigh yuh’.
A scruffy field planted with saplings, protected by white plastic sheathes. They look like untended war graves.
Small mountain of cars at a scrap metal yard. Only the one at the very top is still roughly car-shaped. Almost looks like it was driven to the top, and left there. The others are all squashed. Wonder if it’s like a compost heap – they rely on the weight of cars on top to compress the ones in lower strata.
A magpie pecking at the eye of a dead rabbit. Thinking how seldom we see dead animals, apart from roadkill. Unlike the Serengeti, where you can’t move for carcasses.
The word Serengeti always makes me think of the so-so beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
An unexpected factory amid the fields. What does it make? Fertiliser? Beer? Condoms?