Tuesday, 24 June 2008

300 miles north

I need a journey. I need a day on the road. I need to leave in the grey quiet of dawn and head north and then west around a monstrosity of a motorway whose roar I dread. I need to follow the black tarmac road away from this cramped corner of England, and let the flight of the soaring red kites guide me through the chalky cutting to a place with a bigger sky.

Reflections from windows will play across my face like a strange disconnected film with a monotonous and mind numbing soundtrack. I will drink a cup of tea leaning against an awkward tree watching people in suits eat burgers for breakfast with that strange thrust of chin away from body that seems so birdlike. I will walk on a patch of bleached picnic area while the back of my thin shirt dries in the glow of a yellow morning.

For a day, I will be part of this never ending procession of wheels and motion, but I will also feel my own separateness from it. 

I will have a stack of canvasses behind my seat, a bulging rucksack of paints that I can't wait to get my hands on. There will be quite a pile of walking gear, a few novels that I probably won't finish, my sketchbooks that will be calling me already from the depths of my bag, a bottle of favourite wine, easy clothes, some well loved cds.........

Later, sitting in a cool valley road, on a long wall edged in purple slate, swinging my legs, looking out at gnarled mossy trees, I will eat a sandwich of bread slightly warm from being in the car, bread that welcomes the slices of tomatoes and cheese, a handful of grapes and I will be tempted to rest a while, put my feet up and doze. But I know I will want to be THERE, 300 miles north. I want to be drinking a beer, gazing at my feet in a stony river.