1st december 2005
An interesting pot. He has good manual control. His grasp of the total was rather superficial, in fact the pot proceeded with slickness rather than feeling. He has not come forward with any further ideas.
- school report (Drawing), Eton
5th december 2005
On the left, looking back from Danté's View, Death Valley. I took this photo years ago and have only just rediscovered what the geology reminds me of: the Desert St John by Veneziano (right).
12th december 2005
a lisp of lapel
"Get your coat," says one of my co-workers. "We are going to meet some Russians."
Neither of us have met these Russians before, but in the café they are easily singled out: they inhabit a cloud of tobacco smoke which they push aside with their hands, allowing us to enter. They smoke all the time, seamlessly, lighting each other's cigarettes without missing a beat. The brands are unrecognizable to the non-smoker: Captain Black; Vogue. The people we're meeting look just not quite ordinary. They remind me of Barthes saying of a William Klein picture of a May Day in Moscow, the photographer teaches me how the Russians dress.
We are high up over the city. Mist is clearing and letting the sun through onto domes and towers. The Russians look out over everything and tell us about telephones. They are providers of content to the big mobile phone companies in Moscow, they might like to buy some content from us, we have some nice things. They look at our things and smoke some more. They are already slightly bored with what they're doing, they're thinking ahead. They have lots of ideas to go forward with, like location-based blogging, like stuff their translator gives up with trying to explain to us. Meantime they're stuck looking at what we have to offer them.
The meeting fritters away: we're sitting in warm sun and no-one can be bothered to wrap it up, so we wind down into silence. One of the Russians gestures with his cigarette to the Abbey's hull, sinking in golden haze. "Nice," he says. "Like medieval."
18th december 2005
That afternoon the wind was rushing the trees and the clouds poured across space and he felt very close to the world, like a shaken hand. When he reached the corner by the hedgerow there was a whirling in the grasses and a hare ran out and jinked left and right and into the standing corn; he stopped and straightened up and almost laughed, it seemed that it was his hare, his afternoon entirely. The stone took him up the hill and at the top he shoved it off and jogged back down the rutted track, eager to begin the work again, the way a deckhand coils down a rope for the fiftieth time and looks expectantly up and out to the horizon.