Walking to the filling station for The Guardian takes 7 min - is it worth a post? The sun... Nah! Never the weather!
Nobody's abroad. Brian's trolley for delivering free-sheets is empty, its job done for the week. Brian is my age yet walks with lunging, impatient strides, does the Brecon Beacons. But he's not a patch on Mrs Meerkat, three doors down, whose stride is half Brian's but three times the frequency. Her tiny feet a blur, she only says Hello when I'm with VR.
From Dorchester into Stanbury past two vital symbols - the postbox and the bus-stop - then the portico house occupied by the soft-voiced farmer. In his eighties he dozed at the wheel, knocked over cones and lost his licence. When we meet he’s philosophical but l can't do without a car. Just can't.
Smaller houses in Chichester make a low black Audi look sinister – its down-curling LED headlights like the eyes of a dozing cat. There's drug-dealing half a mile away on the other estate; is the Audi a creeping manifestation? A plump, twentyish woman walks toward me, her face studiously fixed. No Good Morning. Shy, obviously; she’s gender-entitled.
I'm in luck: three Guardians. No need to visit the main store.
Taste poetry here in honour of Joe Hyam.
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of the tar?
Reasons why. Odd-length lines in a rhythmic triumph. Recite it aloud, puh-lease. Comic, vivid ("Of the girl gone chancing/Glancing/Dancing") yet serious too (“In the walls of the Halls where falls/The tread/Of the feet of the dead to the ground”)
Tarantella. Hilaire Belloc.