Wake up to a very sunny morning. Maybe early spring? Flinty crispness in the air. Wince at the shards of metallic light thrown across dirty, dishevelled garden, struggling and slothful, crippled with winter’s hangover. Or my neglect. Headline news on the French radio. Whitney Houston’s funeral. Buried in a silver coffin. Marine Le Pen. Most of the meat in the Paris region is halal and no one even knows. Spokesperson for the French meat industry. I assure you this has no impact on the quality of the meat produced and sold. William Hague on the TV politics show. Eurozone countries signed up for this. Germanic discipline. Iran’s nuclear programme. Is Israel planning a strike? The US is not sharing any plans with the UK. We know nothing. Bring Iran to the negotiating table. The threat of a new cold war. Arms race. Without the safeguards we had in the old cold war. In the house opposite, a slightly deflated, crumpling balloon droops over Christ on the windowsill.
On Sunday we walked from the Ship Inn to Kelham Island, curling around the back of the Riverside pub and down along Mowbray Street… Then past the Crystal Suite to the Farfield Inn on Neepsend Lane, before joining the river Don where it courses unseen alongside Penistone Road… Finally we make our way down the almost impassable track to the Wardsend Cemetery, our feet clogged and heavy with viscous mud. The noise of motocross and electricity lines crackling overhead. The inscription on a tombstone reminds us: our fate awaits you too.
Upperthorpe Grocery Store. Photograph by Neil Theasby.
Read Gareth Parry’s response to the walk here: Abandoned