The last few days have seen an influx of marking, PhD chapters, submissions, editing of a journal paper and all the usual stuff which normally makes this time of year frustrating. The weather is kind and the greens are still differentiated, before they fade towards a common hue in June, the light is soft, and the distances unfazed by heat shimmer. Precisely the time you would like to be outside, not staring at a screen. We’ve walked when possible, and spent a late evening on the front in Morecambe, dodging roller skaters, cyclists, dog walkers and people making the most of the view. Throughout it all we have been alert, as instructed.
Besides the statue of Venus and Cupid above I took some photos of the sunset, and was challenged by a woman out walking as to why I was taking so many photographs. I said I’d been doing it for fifteen years and she asked me what was the point. Nothing, really, I don’t even like photographs of sunsets. She seemed vaguely annoyed by that, as if the answer was designed to provoke her. So I said something about light and change and shadows, and the blues after the sun sets and a feeling for the Bay, the drama of it in changing light. It didn’t convince her that there was a ‘point’ to it, and it’s true that I don’t like photographs of sunsets, they somehow always miss the point. Maybe having a camera at sunset is the excuse.
We have also found some woods that are very close to our house, yet bizarrely, despite walking for years near home we’d never visited them. They’re well used, and have lots of trails, what looks like the odd Friday night fire pit and here and there some evidence of people trying to build shelters. I imagine those are recent.
There are bullocks, like heavyweight puppies, bounding around the fields, enthusiastically breathing their aerosol breath over camera lenses, and the usual mix of late lambs and rooks cooly sitting in the grass, only taking off when disturbed by walkers.
I suppose we’re in transition between the old and the new new now, a complex in-between place, like the greens in the landscape. Whether we fade back in to indecipherable similarity or distinguish ourselves by experimenting with different social relations, is still to be decided. On our return from walking amongst the cattle, we came across one of the many attempts to evoke something of this potential, a small gesture of kindness.