Those terrible afternoons, hot people exploded into
parched-field oblivion, cardigans in heat-waves (some
rooks for company). The encircling council houses are
like cows that kill ramblers. A discovery from the Middle
Ages is made in one, another has articles on Churchill’s
funeral. The trees are sympathetic but won’t get involved –
they have seen the future, which “is going to be boring”.
Extraordinary for a Cambridge professor to live here a year –
research they say, but I saw him rooting through the bin-bags
then sneaking up back-lawns – barbecue detritus, swabs; evidence
on populism’s deadly undergrowth. We shared lager (Peroni for me,
San Miguel for him) in Wetherspoons – and arranged to meet for
breakfast. But I hope he’ll be hit by a car – a non-driver, I’m sure.
Illustration Nick Victor