the doris alloy sound's Blog - RESTING IN PEACE ON EARTH IN LIFE ..... First Portion >>>
RESTING IN PEACE ON EARTH IN LIFE ..... First Portion >>>
Posted: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 3:02 AM
RESTING IN PEACE ON EARTH IN LIFE
A Truth Story
Part One ~
When A Cruel Long Winter
Has Frozen The Earth And Nature
Imprisoned Seeks In Vain To Be Free
Winter in London was protracted and unpleasant. Four months attempting to sleep much as possible, followed by five weeks in Yorkshire which was far more satisfying, rewarding; the view less concrete, and the horizon wider.
Waiting until Winter's death, for milder weather, so to move back into my tent and onto the earth. Back to nature and a return to untroubled pieces of Mind.
When I left the Undercliffs of the Dorset coast October 2011 my intention was to return in Spring, find the abandoned shed I'd been told existed in the cliffs, to make the shed my home and remain as far into next Winter as possible.
During previous visit met a chap on the beach who visits frequently, walking, exploring. He told me about a shed he had found on a previous expedition. He wanted to find it again before leaving the next day. We met again by chance the day of his departure and he had re-found the shed. Told me it was as it had been before, no change, no sign of anyone using it or having used it. The shed contained a few tools, a platform for sleeping on. Suitable for staying in if I was looking for a place in which to sleep when I returned after the Winter.
I want this shed .....
Sounds like the object of my deepest desires .....
The thing I have been fantasising about since childhood .....
The Perfect Den.
For ten months I fixated upon finding this shed. I would find it and live there, and that I did; until the annoying sound of evil jack booted foot soldiers convinced me leave rather than risk the decimation of my peace and contentment.
It was a Winter of great discontent. Living as I do can be easy when the flow is in my favour, other times it can be a struggle. Winter was tough for many reasons. Didn't want to be in London but have to rely upon the kindness of friends for places to stay and nearly all my friends are in the capital because that is where most my adult life has been passed. Another reason for chewy time - the kindness of friends was diminishing. Feeling more like a pest than a welcome guest.
I knew that this was the last time I would require prolonged help with accommodation. Difficult to convince my friends that this was the case because they don't understand the depth of my misery at being away from the ocean, and the woods; the unshielded soil. Long term concrete is impossible, bleak, intolerable. All is ugly in London and during my stay venture outside only when need to buy food and for no other reason.
It is a Poison.
It is a Prison.
I see it vividly, but just as lucid is the way out. My next break will be a major triumph of the death of the old way and should I return it will be as a visitor to those incarcerated. The inmates for life will listen to my stories of life on the Outside and will feel the preventive pull of the Long Haul Prison. There will surface a longing for a more complete and satisfactory life on Earth.
On the twelfth day of April 2012 I packed my bag and loaded the stuff onto my back and headed via rail machine back to the coast. The last six miles by taxi when a bus fails to show. A man with a young girl waits for the same bus and I hear him suggest to his daughter that they could get a cab. I ask if they would be willing to share a cab and the cost; he agrees. Had I been willing to wait for bus would have saved almost three pounds but am keen to reach my destination, unload and pitch. Three pounds is of less value presently since hundreds at my disposal due to parental gift.
The cab drops me in the car park that leads to the coast path that leads to the shack. I rest on a bench in a field from where I am able to view the ocean. After a horrible gruelling Winter it now seems just minutes since I was here last. At this moment I am unlikely to punish myself by returning to London. The weather is mild and sunny, a promising start to my coming ventures. The shack is where my friend Neil lives. He and I met on my arrival previous year when he invited me to pitch in his garden and help myself to water. During my seven week stay I pitched at the shack a couple of times.
By the time I come to pitch my tent in the grounds of the shack it is raining heavily. Over the next few months it would give or take the odd freakish dry day continue to rain. I am an optimist therefore expected the rain to stop after a week, two weeks, a month, after two months, but the Earth wasn't yet sufficiently water logged, so it continued. Months sped by in what felt like weeks. Occasionally the phrase 'Having a horrible time ... Wish I wasn't here!' ticker-taped through my brain. But it was followed by a laugh, not a cry; I remained hopeful that one day Summer would come and I would do more than lay in my sleeping bag nibbling food, reading Colin Wilson's 1957 publication 'The Outsider', napping, ears plugged with damp tissue to dampen the relentless pelting of rain against the fly sheet. Drifting in and out of sleep, for a day, two days, three.
The period from April to August was difficult, and redeemed only by preceding a thrill packed period after the rain went into recession and which kicked in when I found the shed, and moved in. Finding the shed was a great relief with everything in my tent including tent deteriorating very quickly. My tent got a soaking while pitching in the garden at the shack on arrival. It remained wet and the rain got to everything it contained.
My arrival at the shack was quite explosive in the light of what would follow both immediately and long term. Neil wasn't alone when I got to his home. He introduced me to Tom Sunderland, War-den of the Undercliffs.
(WAR-DEN / Noun / A person responsible for the supervision of a particular place or thing or for ensuring that regulations associated with it are obeyed / The head official in charge of a prison)
Uncertain as to whether Tom the War-den, employed to prevent camping in the Undercliffs, just happened to call on Neil and be there to welcome me, a camper to the Undercliffs, or if Neil invited him to meet me. Whichever, I believe he was meant to be there. Previously, on the last day of my stay in the Undercliffs, Tom the War-den visited my tent after I'd been seen by an individual who claims to own the portion of planet Earth that I was resting upon (the man is insane if he believes he own a portion of planet Earth larger than that which he needs to rest upon!). Tom the War-den left a card and on the reverse he had written :
- You do not have permission to camp anywhere in the Undercliffs therefore leave immediately -
Being found and told to move on was never going to be a problem as just move elsewhere. Would have done that but going back to the shack the next day anyway prior to returning to London so I went a day early. When Neil informed Tom the War-den that he had told friend of his to leave the Undercliffs Tom the War-den was very apologetic. At least to Neil, not to me personally. I don't meet Tom the War-den until I return. Interesting that he is fully aware of my intention to live in the Undercliffs yet he says nothing to discourage me. Last year I didn't have permission to camp in the Undercliffs, perhaps this year Tom the War-den's acquiescence grants unofficial permission, or at least a blind eye turned upon my activities.
It didn't cross my mind that I was with couple of individuals some months down the line I would perceive as untrustworthy, dangerous, insane. Thought I was amongst friends and say things I later regret; until I remember if it has happened then it is meant to happen, not meant to regret. I was meant to speak about the shed and intention to find it in Tom the War-den's presence. At my mentioning the shed Tom the War-den claimed not to know of it, but it later transpired that he did know of the existence of the shed but had never come across it. My talk of the shed prompts Tom the War-den to go searching and he finds it. This I was not expecting. I liked it that he didn't know where the shed was. However, once Tom the War-den found the shed he gave me the clues I needed in order that I should find it. He told me, when I asked him what it was like, that it was good for sleeping in.
Neil, Tom the War-den / Monster and Rob, The Monster's Apprentice (who I would meet later), are The Corrosive Elements of the Undercliffs. The insanity that I went there to evade.
The first sign of madness emerges shortly after my arrival, once Tom the War-den had left. I mention to Neil the information I found on the Net concerning the Military testing biological weapons along the Dorset coast and in particular Lyme Bay. I am interested to know how widely known this information is. It is not a secret since it has been admitted as fact by the UK Government.
Neil is standing, his finger pointing pointedly at me.
"No! No! You are wrong! That's a ridiculous conspiracy theory. Nonsense! No! I can't believe the Military would test biological weapons here. Why would they do that? When?"
"Late '60s, early 70s."
"No! That is rubbish. Your head is full of nonsense."
There is not much I can say in response to that. It is comforting to be certain that I am right and he is wrong, that I am sane and he is completely mad. He seems angry with me. I sense what I have said will change things between us. It can never be a mistake to speak the truth. I left Neil to pitch tent in the rain when the car came to take him away for a couple of hours. The driver was not wearing a white coat.
The following day I am invited by Neil to eat with him and watch a movie. Last visit Neil nearly always fed me dinner when I was at the shack and this was often followed by music or a movie, or if he was going out he would allow me to use the shack while he was gone. First time Neil offers me food this visit is the last. I am not when Neil is out for an evening invited to use the shack. He is still hungover on what I had said the previous day.... Military .... Lyme Bay .... Biological Weapons.
"I've got to ask. You don't believe other ridiculous conspiracy theories do
The truth may make him livid. I say nothing. He presses me:
"Did we go to the Moon?"
"I don't know if the alleged Moon Landings took place but I believe all the photographs and film of the event are fake, taken in a studio, directed by Stanley Kubrick."
"It happened! I was there!" Neil shrieks.
Where? On the Moon? At NASA? No you weren't there! I think.
He continues to stick pins in his eyes .....
Head shaking, nearly foaming at the mouth. Why? It doesn't bother me that Neil believes the official story of 9/11, though anyone that believes anything that has come from official sources must qualify as insane. Surely it is blatantly obvious that we live in a country that is built upon a foundation of power, corruption and lies; a system in which human beings are not treated equally. I cannot see that this system is anything but a Prison for incomplete human beings. It has jaws that crush us, and from them seeps the fetid stench of fascism. We live in a fascist state in a fascist country on a planet controlled by fascists. I am not certain that it is a boon to be able to look at the world in which we live and not see that this is the case. Ignorance is bliss until the foot soldiers knock at your door and tell you to be a good citizen and step into the cattle truck. I believe nothing that it is expected that I should believe.
"I'm sorry but I'm going to have to ask you to leave," Neil says, bewildering me. "You are doing my head in. You're Pushing all my buttons, and I'm tired, my mind is too weak and feeble to argue with you. I need to be on my own. You've blown my mind!"
I gather the bits I arrived with; tobacco tin, lighter, torch. I leave the dates I brought for Neil to sample.
"Enjoy the dates," I say.
"I'll see you tomorrow."
Days following this episode Neil and I meet often in the kitchen. He takes great pleasure reminding me my head is full of nonsense, that I need to sort it. Well, one of us in is in need of a cure and it's not me. My inclination is towards getting away from Neil and the shack as soon as possible. I didn't come here to be bombarded with negative vibes. Unfortunately the weather prevents me from leaving and heading into the Undercliffs. The coast path through the jungle is boggy, difficult, dangerous with heavy load upsetting my balance.
Within a week of my arrival it is plain self confessed ex-hippy Neil is now fascist. Mention of biological weapons has manifested a side to Neil that was not apparent last year. The comments on the state of my head continue, despite Neil having discovered the truth behind the diabolical Military activity in the 1960s and '70s:
"I saw my friend Caroline earlier and I asked her if she knew anything about the Military testing biological weapons here, and she said 'yes, and you do too because we used to talk about it'. So it is true, but I had forgotten it."
Idiot. According to him I need to sort my head when his obviously has deep flaws. He doesn't apologise for attacking my mind, just looks at me with a queer expression. Last week the information I gave was utter nonsense, now it s true and he has a website displayed on his laptop on which are documented the grizzly details. He tells me things I already know. As I say the hostility remained. The cracks against my head tail off but in their place Neil, having told me to help myself to the kitchen, whenever I go in intending to cook asks me not to because I am disturbing him.
Because of the rain I remain in the garden at the shack for eighteen days and nights, until Neil tells me to leave. Was planning my departure anyway as really wanting to get into the Undercliffs. The mud prevented me from leaving sooner. Neil says he wants the place to himself, and had come to this conclusion;
"You don't like my movies! You don't like my music! Because you believe all those ridiculous conspiracy theories I have nothing to say to you!"
He then left me befuddled by a cloud of wasn't sure what. I wonder if my judge of character as a system for navigating myself towards those I can trust is operating efficiently, or not. Perhaps it would be beneficial if I increased my mistrust of others, to protect myself. The next day is dry, good for un-pitching tent and moving. The Sun is evaporating some of the moisture absorbed by the tent while I gradually empty contents of tent into my rucksack. Neil comes to see me. He apologises for the things he said the day before, but not all that he has said since my arrival.
"So ..... heading into the Undercliffs. I wanted to apologise before you go for what I said yesterday. My condition makes me very tired and I say things that are perhaps harsh, my friends have been getting it from me lately. I'm aware that I haven't invited you into the shack like I did when you stayed before, because I have a problem with the stuff you believe. Anyway, I need the place to myself for awhile but if you want to come back in a few weeks that's fine."
Neil obviously doesn't want me to vanish from his life otherwise he wouldn't have admitted regretting telling me I don't like his movies and music and that he has nothing to say to me. Movies I can live without, but music is priority. I spent the time when not sleeping during the Winter listening to music that Neil had introduced me to and he knows this, so to suggest I don't like his music we both know is wrong. Apologies are fine for those doing the apologising. Apologies shouldn't be necessary we should not be doing anything that we have to apologise for! The condition that influences his behaviour is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is a symptom of Lyme Disease which is caused by deer ticks getting into the bones.
The path through the jungle-like woods is hard going and I don't go for very long before I must stop. As soon as I step onto it am slipping about and straining to retain balance with back pack and bag of stuff in one hand tent in the other. Not overly happy with my chosen pitch but I couldn't go any further. I pitch only twenty minutes from the shack, but the site is not easy to reach so at least I feel safe. Over the coming days and weeks the feeling of safety does diminish after hearing the sound of gunshots; people killing birds, I presume, sadly. And the sound of on going Military activity both skywards and seawards can be very disturbing in the deep night. I hear aerial dog-fights, bombs exploding on the ocean and the nerve-devastating sound of tank fire. Bad vibes. While I am here going to hear these rehearsals for World War III in which the Military practice killing human beings; specifically beings with smiley brown faces. When I pitched my intention is to move somewhere better as soon as possible; better still find the shed and live there.
I am reasonably comfortable; then the sound of air rifles and Military weapons and realise would be best to move soon as possible but again the rain falls relentlessly preventing me from doing anything except the occasional dash town-wards to collect food.
When it stops I will find the shed and live there.
The sound of tank fire only occurs twice; it manifests in me even more empathy than I already own with those fellow humans in areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan who have experienced prolonged UK and US Military invasion and mass slaughter ~ therefore the cancerous vibration of tank fire. I text one of my spies who informs me that there are several Military bases in the locality.
Part Two ~
It is several weeks before I decide to stop at the shack to collect water on my return from town. Reception is so-so. Neil is difficult to engage, vacant looking whenever I speak as though he either cannot tolerate anything I have to say or else he has severe hearing difficulties, and in retrospect perhaps I ought not to have been so thick skinned. But for food I must go in one direction, for fresh spring water another, so it is convenient while pouring with rain to stop at Neil's to refill my bottles, so I continue to call and usually a brief dialogue takes place on Neil's porch. Now and then we meet along the path above the shack and chat but Neil does not invite me into the shack.
Soon after pitching in the Undercliffs I realise how vital it is to carry sticks with me to help with walking. My knee is often in pain after just a short walk. I use a couple that help with the scramble up the mud slide to my site, then I discard them when I find better ones which I use until I leave. On the beach I find a stick that is the perfect shape for a walking stick; the classic hook handle. The other I pick up is a walking aid but also a crafty art piece. Often fellow walkers ask if I am in the process of carving it. My sticks are the envy of those who see them. Over the months they would have much praise lavished upon them :
"Great piece of kit!"
"Wow! Those are proper hiking sticks!"
Without sticks I would not be able to reach my site. Each time I leave the site I make the mud slide more treacherous, coming up likewise. I am on a plateau between two slopes. On one side of me an impressive pond has formed. While it rains, unless I need to collect water or food I do not leave the tent. If I need these things then I have to risk a good soaking. If it has stopped raining I emerge from tent into a very wet, muddy and misty wood, water drips from the trees long after it has stopped raining.
When I get the chance to go out beneath a blue sky and Sun I head for the beach and do practical things such as cook if I can find enough dry wood, and rinse clothes which are often in the process of being ruined by damp. The Sun and wind sometimes dries clothes before it is time to leave the beach, if not I must take them back to tent try to dry them there. This is impossible and more often than not they remain damp and soon need to be rinsed and dried again. When I find the shed and am living closer to the beach I rinse my clothes in the waterfall, what others call the gusher, and have a clothes line for drying nearby.
If I go out in a down pour, which I often have to if I need food or water, get so wet I remain damp my skin crinkled for hours after getting back to tent and removing wet clothes. My rucksack is soaking up the water that is coming through the groundsheet. My footwear is never dry, and consequently splitting. There are times when it rains for forty hours without stopping. If a rain-free night, wake optimistic and prepare for action by packing the things needed to head out beach-wards; pans, bags for collecting wild foods, purchased foods such as pasta, lentils, clothes for rinsing. Many times I pack - about to leave - then comes the rain - with great sorrow I unpack, lay down again for how long am unable to forecast. My back aches, my legs are weak, my shoulder sore from propping myself up while reading Dostoevsky's 'Crime And Punishment'.
I came out here expecting to get healthier, stronger, but I get weaker.
Regular trips into town for food because rain prevents beach cooking do not help. I have not detached from the Machine World to the extent anticipated, and am subjected to the insanity that reminds me of those things I am keen to distance myself from.
During the Queen's Jubilee there are in town flags hanging from every available hanger. I cringe at the gullibility of a public supporting a tyrannical regime disguised as servitude. The staff in Tesco walking mannequins dressed in Union Flag T-shirts or red white blue colour coordinated outfits. Brian has a cap with GB on it. The morons. Jane isn't having it, she is in her usual red blouse. In the Co-op the staff are out of uniform but haven't been dressed as mascots for the Psychotic Satanic Royal Family.
The Queen .....
The Queen Forces Herself Upon Us,
A Tyrant Bought Sight Unseen,
I Will Not Allow That Thing To Be My Queen,
We Have No Idea Where She has Been!
If We Knew Where In Evil She Goes,
We Would Cut Off Her Fingers,
We Would Cut Off Her Toes.
Stamp Out Her All-Pervasive All-Invasive Image,
And Saturate Her Public Show,
In A Flurry Of Spit That Falls Upon It Like Snow!
The Day Is Come O Monarch We You Shall Overthrow.
WED 13th June :
Rained without significant break for six whole days! Now everything I own is either wet through or damp and tent perfect environment for spiders, flies, mosquitoes, woodlouse, centipedes. The latter are my least favourite and the most difficult to evict. I chase them from corner to corner. Centipedes are quick to vanish beneath bags or sleeping mats. They hide in the folds of my rucksack and though reluctant to kill anything I make an exception for these pests after humane efforts to evict fail.
I should organise myself better when heading out between showers to beach cook. The other day I arrived at the beach as storm brewing therefore too windy to start fire and cook, and except dates had no alternative to cooked food. Famished on the walk back to site; sweating, almost vomiting but nowt to vomit. Cold, exhausted having been horizontal day after day after day with no exercise.
Monday on the beach noticed many changes after the heavy winds.
Familiarity had been swept away by the tide. It looks nothing like it did. The tree on which I hang my clothes to dry is gone. My stove was taken as was the shingle to expose a bit of sand. It is too wet for a wood fire, but then I recall that I did not have my pans with me. Reason being last week decided should leave pans in safe place rather than carry to and from tent. I secured the pans up on the bank. Since then winds have bought the tide right up to the bank, taken a chunk from the bank. I search for the pans but they have been taken, snatched by the ocean, encouraged by the wind.
Yesterday when not obscured by cloud the Sun was very hot. On the beach by one thirty, by two have strong fire blazing. No pans with which to cook but do have potatoes to bake and can of beans which I place on the hot ashes before opening. I bathe in the sea then sprawl out on the stones. My plan is to walk along the beach to town, buy dates, check charity shops for pans. If none suitable in size or price call at the shack to see if Neil has a couple to spare. This he has so saves me a pound or two and for this very grateful. He gives me two, one a little grubby looking, but neither had lids, which I realised later was a real set back. I need lids to stop beach flies and hopping creatures from contributing to my meal. Fortunately the grubby pan rests perfectly on top of the other pan so I will stack them when cooking.
When I got back yesterday it was seven thirty and my legs were wrecked after the long walk. At least it resulted in having one pan to cook with, and I was able to give my phone a brief charge while Neil looked for pans in the wreckage that is the house next to the shack. A wreckage because of historic landslide that puts the shack on a slant secured by telegraph poles.
Today I returned from town with hot pasties!
The range of food available to me in town makes shopping for something to eat in tent difficult. Nothing is reasonably priced except food that has been greatly reduced due to imminent expiration. Almost every other shop in Lyme sells pasties, but only one, Pasty Presto, just pasties and pastries. It is outside this one that I hear the ringing of a bell while the bell ringer cries :
"All pasties one pound! All pastries two for one pound!"
Normal price for a pasty is between two pounds fifty and three pounds fifty - way beyond what I would spend on a single food item that is unlikely to last more than a couple of minutes. But one pound for hot nutritious food impressed me. I shall while rain continues to fall be lurking in the shadows around seventeen hundred hours awaiting the bell 'n' cries o' the pasty man!
When it does stop raining for long enough to allow the water to cease dripping from branch and leaf canopy it is noticeably peaceful. Peace tainted by the anticipation of further rain. No pelting, just occasional drips. I hear noises normally obscured by the brutal sound of torrential rain, such as the ocean.
When I can cook on a beach fire I collect wild mushrooms from the woods on the way to the beach. There is a variety. I have a reference book 'Food For Free' but they are difficult to identify by the photographs or illustrations. I start with what appear to be bleeding brown wood mushrooms then try the rest that resemble those in the book. All the mushrooms I eat are edible but they lay heavy in my gut for a couple of hours after eating. One day I walk along the beach towards my established beach stove and meet Boggy who is having a picnic lunch with a couple of female friends. We chat, I show the huge mushroom I have in my paper bag and he kindly offers me tomatoes and bread to add to the meal I will be preparing.
Another day I decide to try a mix of seaweeds in a soup. It is very gelatinous but tasty. I make enough for the next day and store it in a plastic container, wrap that inside a plastic bag, bury it inside my rucksack. That night I need to pee constantly, because of the seaweed, which puts me off seaweed somewhat. The next day it rains, and the following day. It is days before I get to the beach again, meanwhile I am unaware that the soup is fermenting and increasing its volume. It busts open the lid of the container and spills into the plastic bag, and into my rucksack - made it as far as my clothes but fortunately only reached a couple of items. The smell is dreadful, enough to put me off seaweed forever.
It is a couple of months before I am comfortable with incoming tides, eventually confident enough to either assure or warn others when I am asked, which is often as I must appear to others as though I should know. Sudden high tides are less a problem for me than for others as I know several tracks that lead from the beach onto the coast path. A week or so after the ocean took pans I am on the beach trying to start a fire. There is strong wind and clouds race across the blue sky, thickening, gradually turning the sky white. I persist in trying to make fire though it looks as though rain is on the horizon. Wonder why after one hour of struggling to establish flame.
On my way across the shingle to my cooking spot I noticed part of my pan set that was taken by the ocean. The little frying pan was trapped beneath a huge rock. It was irretrievable.
Suddenly the fire is a roaring success and I spring into action; fill the pan with water from the gusher in which to boil pasta. Persistence pays off in the end, I think, and as I do so the pan tips and water spills and the fire is gone! But only for a few seconds before immediately being reignited by the powerful wind and the heat that in its short life the fire had managed to generate.
The water is a long time boiling as the wind blows flames away from the base of the pan. I put in the pasta. When cooked stir through a sauce prepared days earlier consisting of fresh tomatoes, dried basil, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper. I had paid very little attention to anything but the cooking of my food and when almost cooked I am free to unsquat myself from the stove, stretch my legs and glance around. The tide is unusually very high and getting closer to me. It is just a few metres away. This is annoying as suddenly a relaxing lunch has been snatched since eating is not all I have to do. The pans need to be washed, my water bottles need filling. Never have I eaten a meal so quickly. The nearest exits from the beach are twenty minutes away in either direction, and if the tide continues to rise it may be a tight squeeze.
When near to the track that will take me off the beach am able to sit in the Sun's rays for a few minutes and rest. I watch the tide advance at speed these eyes not seen before. On my way back to camp along the coast path a chap I meet tells me there had been warnings of a very high tide, which explains why I had seen no other beings on the beach.
Sometimes other walkers pass me on the path from my camp site to the beach. Often I am seen collecting wild foods for lunch and walkers are interested to know what it is I am harvesting. I exhibit mushrooms, nettle leaves, usually Red Dead and White Dead variety that have no sting; I do collect the stinging leaves and avoid being stung by licking my fingers before picking. Goose grass, the stuff that clings to clothes, can be boiled for forty minutes and still remains chewy! If I get the chance to join with and chat to a fellow human going in my direction I will. One couple I take down to the bay with me and they thank me for introducing them to a piece of paradise.
One morning walking to my destination thinking about how my stash of cash is not lasting anywhere near as long as anticipated. About to break into another hundred, I reckon I could do with finding twenty pounds along this path, but that is unlikely since here is the last place anyone would be compelled to reach for wallet or purse. Perhaps in town will find something that will help slow down the rate of diminishing finance. After this thought I meet a couple of visitors enjoying their walk through the jungle. We talk while walking, about my life and why I have come to live like this, about theirs and their urgent need to abort the tiresome Rat Race. I assume they are either very good friends or brother and sister. They are impressed that I have been living out here in my tent for two months. Meeting me is a nudge in the right direction. The way I live isn't for everyone but for everyone there is an alternative way that fulfils the deeper longings. When it is time to leave my walking companions and head down to the beach the chap holds out his hand to shake mine. We shake and I feel something pressed into my palm. I look and see a folded twenty pound note. I am stunned, by his generosity and by the fulfilment of my earlier wishes.
By late June the Undercliffs have transformed into a rain forest. Heavy mist is an everyday occurrence. My clothes smell of wood smoke and damp, as does the bag I use for shopping. In this weather can easily go up to a week and beyond without washing. I am getting to feel how it is to be considered what is commonly known as 'Down And Out', by the way I am treated in town by the 'Up And In'. Men show no hostility towards me but the women are quietly vicious. It is counter staff and shelf-stackers in the corporate shops I use.
Exhibit A : Kathy in Tesco. I enter the store and if she is stacking walk by her. She holds her breath as I pass then can be seen out of the corner of my eye wafting her hand in front of her face, specifically her nose. What ... a ... Bitch! Wood smoke is not unpleasant, even if the damp is, and sweat ... well, I smell of human being not of odours invented in laboratories and sold by women who exist in a cloud of the stuff. The odours I carry are those human beings once commonly carried. Kathy never fails to respond to my presence in the store and she pisses me off.
Exhibit B : Nicky in The Cooperative. There are a couple of words missing from Nicky's name-tag; THE and BITCH. She placed herself behind me while I was at the counter so she could act out a series of gestures, unaware of my observation skills, in order to alert the woman serving me that I stink really bad.
There is another; Ellie in The Cooperative but I am not sure if her rudeness is personal to me or if miserably dour and hard boiled with everyone.
I create a minor scene n Tesco when it is my turn in the queue to step forward to the checkout and be served by Kathy The Hideous.
"I'll wait," I tell her, not moving from my position, "and be served by someone who isn't incredibly rude and obnoxious."
The girl seems somewhat uncomfortable, with is satisfying. The man behind me steps forward and give me a look.
"What was all that about?" he asks Kathy.
"I've absolutely no idea!"
"You know," I tell her, leaning forward.
With Nicky, one day she is on the shop floor talking with another staff member. I walk right up to her and lean in to clearly read her name tag. She begins to stammer and as I retreat I hear her admit to her colleague that she had forgotten what it was she was saying. I stalled her mechanism. I simply wanted to make each of these creatures feel nervous in my presence.
There are far stranger creatures in town than can be found in the Undercliffs. They are not all suffering from idiocy though. If on duty the Pasty Man, aware that I am Vegetarian, puts aside the Vegetable and the Spicy Chickpea pasties to quell the danger of them being sold before I reach the head of the queue.
At the bottom of the hill is the second hand book store. Books are bought so I take a book I brought with me that I have read and finished with to see if for it I could get 50p, or £1. The proprietor of the shop I have noticed a few times, and it is hard to miss him; boater on head, scarf flung around the neck and psoriasis complexion. I approach, ask if he would like to buy the book I am holding. He takes it, and opens it, looks at it, and after a moment responds:
"This is an uncancelled library book," he says, "therefore it does not belong to me and it does not belong to you!"
"It does belong to me," I tell him "because I purchased it from the library."
"I'm telling you it is uncancelled."
"You are also telling me this book doesn't belong to me when it does."
"I'm just giving you the facts. I'm sorry."
"Sorry for what? Not buying the book or telling me this book doesn't belong to me when it does?"
"For not being able to take it. There are detectors out there in the street
that are triggered by uncancelled library books."
I leave the store, rip out the page that indicates ex-library and drop the book at a charity shop. What a fool that man is!
There is a little creature living under my tent. At first I imagine it is a rodent, probably a mouse. When I move during the night I can hear it move having been disturbed. Usually it dashes to the fringes of the tent then crawls back to where it was resting before it was disturbed by me shifting position. If I am prone to moving around a lot I drum with my fingers to put it off returning in case I risk unintentionally harming it. One day I decide to move my tent to one side, just a couple of feet, away from plant roots that are beginning to increase the discomfort I am in. I remove heavy gear from the tent, un-peg then drag it. I go to the other side to see if the roots are exposed. I see a large dark toad, stirring. The amphibian starts to move back to the tent then vanishes beneath it. I am happy to provide shelter and warmth for a toad.
I continue to call every couple of weeks or so at the shack on my way to or from town. Occasionally Neil and I pass between the shack and town. He is
determined to retain a distance between us, to not allow himself to realise that I am the same being who last year he thought was worthy of his friendship. I haven't changed, he has. I mention to him the Military activities being the only thing that bothers me about the Undercliffs. Neil seems to think this kind of activity is a good thing! There is a breakthrough when I see Neil on the path doing some trimming in preparation for a delivery van the next day. I walk back to the shack with him then go down to the kitchen to fill my water bottles. While I do this I hear a record that Neil has put on at very high volume .....
Pushing Through The Market Square,
So Many Mothers Sighing,
News Had Just Come Over,
We Had Five Years Left To Cry In ~
I take my time with the water collection then hang on to myself while listening to most of the song. It has been a miserable wet week that may be redeemed by hearing Moonage Daydream. Before track one of the vinyl Long Player finishes I have decided to risk rejection and ask Neil if I may come inside and listen to the entire record. I stand in the open doorway of the shack calling Neil who does not hear me over Bowie for some time. When he does I make my request and he grants it. In I go, and I am even offered a cup of tea and get a smoke while listening to Ziggy Stardust. The television is on and I realise how irritating it is, muted or not, the women playing tennis need to go. Off! Within seconds of this thought growing wings and flying Neil reaches for the remote and kills the TV. Neil thinks phenomenon such as telepathy, thought transference, all nonsense.
THURS 28th JUNE :
Saw Tom today for the first time since we met at the shack on my arrival. I know from Neil that Tom has found the shed and has asked him several times if I have found the shed yet. Neil has quizzed him on the shed and I know something about it, such as the roof is covered in ivy, that it is a really well constructed shelter.
When Tom and I meet it is very brief. I don't mention the shed, but he does;
"Have you found the shed yet?"
"I haven't, not had the weather for exploring. How do I find it?"
"You need to be on the Plateau."
"OK. What's the shed like?"
"Good for sleeping in."
"Can it be seen from above?"
"No, the roof is covered by ivy."
Part of me wishes Tom would draw me a map or take me there, the other part needs to find the shed without being led directly to it. Last year I was given the clue by the chap who told me about the shed, the clue being that it is off the area known as the Slabs. Tom's clue is that I need to be on the Plateau. I recall the chap telling me there was a track that goes from the Slabs to the Plateau. That must be the track I need to locate, and to find it I need to be on the Plateau. Since Tom told me the shed is good for sleeping in I shall assume that having told the Warden about the shed and my intention to live there is not going to be a problem. Why would Tom give me the clues I need to find the shed, say it is good for sleeping in if he had decided to not encourage me to stay in the Undercliffs?
In town observed a woman contorting her face into a grimace as she passes in the street the human being selling The Big Issue. I don't think the look of disgust was because he was homeless, more likely because he was middle eastern and squatting on the pavement. She has all she wants and a sour face ~ he has nothing and a smiley face. I regret not pointing out to her that I found her grimace inhuman.
August shows an improvement in the weather but that doesn't mean the rain has gone away, it just means it rains less. Heading out to the beach and cooking more frequently but still laying down for a day or two at a time waiting for the rain to stop. My tent is in poor shape now. The porch poles broke last year so it is propped up with sticks. The zip on the entrance / exit flap is starting to jam and I know it cannot last very much longer. Everything in the tent sits in a pool of water. I have thrown clothes away that have started to rot.
When I arrived four months ago I was so optimistic about finding the shed. Everything was going to be fine because I would find the shed and live there. Well I haven't found the shed and it is now becoming urgent because I do not want to have to spend money on a new tent, which I would have to travel miles to purchase.
Problem being I am pitched too far away from the area I know the shed to be in. By the time I've got to the part of the beach on which I cook (within half an hour of where I know the shed to be) I'm ready to eat so I have to cook. After the strenuous task of cooking I want to sprawl out for a bit if there is some Sun. I am then not in the mood for exploring, and need to retain energy for return to camp so remain sprawled on the stones or sand as long as possible. Sometimes unto the evening.
On August 18th things changed for the better.
For two weeks I have been unable to shut up my tent. The zip finally broke and the best I can do is pin it in place but it no longer prevents insects and spiders finding their way in. It is grim in there now. Mosquitoes, spiders, woodlouse, slugs, snails, centipedes, flies. As an exercise it enhances my human being by forcing me to overcome anxieties related to sleeping in an open space and having unpleasant looking creatures come check me out. However it is still grim. One morning I wake to find a slug on my pillow. Yuck!
Unbeknown to me on the day, August 18th, a Saturday, is my final night in that tent on that pitch. I wondered if it might be after fixing a plan for the coming days and nights. Really it had to be that I was close to abandoning the broken tent, leaving it for the creatures to colonise without interference from me. How could I return after my planned vacation? My plan is to take my sleeping bag down to the beach and spend a few nights sleeping there, in the open. The insects and spiders will in my absence pour in and the tent will be theirs, not mine!
So I MUST find the shed!
I am spurred into action on hearing that the next few days are expected to be dry and sunny. That same day I meet when climbing up from the beach a group of five descending; one adult male, two young males, a younger female and a dog. I think of them as the famous five. They are going to spend the night on the beach. The eldest boy tells me it is something they do often. I plan to do the same and on Sunday pack my rucksack, which I intend to wash and dry, and go outside. I remain outside for the next three days and nights.
It is beautiful to spend the day on the beach and not have to leave for the night. Prior to my first night in just my sleeping bag on the beach the weather is not quite what I had been led to expect but there has been some Sun and it is fine. Spend the afternoon into early evening at the waterfall then think about heading into the bay and the spot I plan to sleep on. As I pack up wind picks up,clouds move in and quickly things change; I expect to be rained on. I decide to walk in the opposite direction to one planned in order to find some shelter. I had noticed cave like openings at the base of the cliffs; that may suffice. Very quickly the day is transformed from an average Summer's day to a wet and misty occasion, not ideal for sleeping outside. I walk and walk but see no caves. Where have they gone? End up on the final stretch of shingle that leads to Axmouth Harbour, an area familiar from last year's visit. When I get to this unsheltered area the rain has stopped, the mist cleared, the sky blue again.
The first night on the beach is fine, a little drizzle but better than being in my tent even if my sleeping bag is damp. In the morning I try to make fire for breakfast but wood too damp so I forego hot food and head into town which is little over half an hour away. When later I return to the waterfall I prop my sleeping bag open on sticks to dry out in the Sun and wind.
The second night is blissful. I wake in the night and peer out of my bag to look at the sky. A billion stars look down at me. The Milky Way. I see a comet. The ocean is very still and I sleep soundly. When the Sun's rays hit me after it has appeared from behind the cliffs the heat is strong and I face it. The Sun remains strong all day. The thought of returning to the tent is untenable. It is a miserable place. Desperately in need of shelter I head for the Plateau, which, according to Tom the War-den, is where I need to be to find the shed.
The Plateau is several acres of field that can be accessed from the coast path. I often have people complain that for a coastal walk there is from the path no great views of the coast. The Plateau is not sign posted so is not known about by the many visitors to these parts, which is a pity because the view from the Plateau is astonishing. The field is sloped, levelling out as it reaches the edge of the cliff. There is a tree that has been bent by the prevailing wind and which looks on a calm day surreal like it has been painted into the scene.
When I get to the Plateau I keep to the edge of the wooded fringes looking for what might be the track that will wind unto the shelter I have fixated on for the last ten months. There are in-ways that dead end and others that enter the woods but I pass these until the one I feel is worth embarking on. The track begins trodden between trees before discernment must be employed. Occasionally I have to stop and think about which direction I should progress in. I stagger over trees that have fallen, push away with my sticks branches, brambles. At times it seems I can go no further but I cannot turn back. I press on, on my four legs; two of flesh and bone, two of wood. The track remains roughly parallel to the cliff edge so hopeful that in the very least this track will not suddenly veer off into the deeper jungle.
If I don't find the shed along here at least I may have discovered a new way to reach the beach from the coast path. Oh! Will I ever find the shed!? Where is it!? The track becomes winding more solidly stamped, and just prior to finding myself exit the wood and in an open area am ruminating with a sinking feeling I am such a rubbish explorer! To my left a small patch of grass. To my right a huge growth in the landscape, a mess of ivy and brambles. But amidst the tangle a black hole, something resembling a gate.
There is a tingling in my chest.
Maybe this is the shed?
Of course it is!
I have found what I am looking for.
This is the moment I awaken from four months of coma and the quality of my life in the Undercliffs vastly improves. Excitement bubbles up inside me as I step forward to take a closer look at my home. My shoulders bear the weight of a huge grin. I push back the ivy and brambles that are partially covering the entrance to the shed and peer inside. The gate is hung on ropes and swings roughly open. It is dark inside my new home. Hmmm ... First impressions are not overwhelmingly positive. There is a strong odour, of must, of dust, damp. I go inside, notice thick cobwebs, leaves covering the bed platform and floor, and ivy reaches into the interior through cracks and the five uncovered windows. A load of wood piled against one wall is covered with ancient dust and cobwebs. Some of this wood looks as though it is no longer fit for the reason it is stored. I see I shall have to put some effort into cleaning this place. There is a shelf with a coil of thick ropes beside a tin of rusting nails and a clear plastic bag holding a used teabag and a tin that once contained pilchards. How long has it been since anyone used this shed? There is in a crate more wood and a filthy, stinky old piece of carpet, probably once used to cover the floor I expect. The floor now has a carpet of leaves and composted leaves.
The thrill is not gone despite the condition in which I find the shed. It isn't quite what I was expecting, though perhaps I was a little naive to imagine an abandoned shed would be otherwise! Tom the War-den told me the roof is covered in ivy, not that the entire structure is covered by and well hidden by the ivy. I leave the shed on a high and find the track that continues down to the beach. The track looks as though it has been recently trimmed for the benefit users but who would use it I am not sure.
So I have found the track that leads from the Plateau to the Slabs. The latter is an expanse of naturally occurring geographical pavement, sloped and covered in impressions of pre-historic Ammonites. The Slabs attract few visitors since it is approximately three miles in either direction to the nearest town and few coast past walkers are aware of ways of getting down to the beach. The Slabs are five minutes from the gusher where I prefer to cook and launder and dry my clothes.
That night, my third consecutive night sleeping on the beach, is the coldest yet. When in the morning I wake and uncover my face I look at the sky and liberate an enormous sigh. The Chemtrail pilots have been busy through the night. Above me a formation I see as the prison bars between here, Earth, and there, Outer Space. This sky stuff troubles me. It is the only aspect of the slow genocide on humanity that I cannot escape unless I abandon Earth's surface and move underground.
There Are Prison Bars In The Sky,
The Birds Don't Fly That High,
If They Did They Would Quickly Die,
It Is A Slow Death For The Birds,
And For I.
When I Can Look At The Sky,
Triple X Is Six Six Six,
And Not See The Sign Of The Crucifix,
The Crucifixion Is Either Complete Or It Has Ceased.
The sky has been vandalised, poisoned. To see this on waking is maddening. Over the months I mention these aircraft trails to quite a few individuals who are ignorant of their existence. They think they are vapour or condensation trails or spent fuel. When I tell them they are known as Chemtrails and said to come from aerosols and contain various elements dangerous to human health such as aluminium and barium they respond as though I am delusional, or they just don't get it. People seem to have a problem believing the Government through the Military would go as far as spraying us with chemicals from aircraft in an act of genocide, but that is what has been occurring for a long time in various forms. I concede that there is a possibility that what I have read on the Net about these sky trails may be wrong, but if this is the case I will never believe there is not something deeply sinister about the presence of these trails. I have observed the formation of these Chemtrails and recognise a pattern in the behaviour of these aircraft. They occur all over the UK and the rest of planet Earth.
After waking up to Chemtrails I eat breakfast then head back to my old site to collect some of my gear. I leave the dismantling of the tent for another day, ensure that stuff I leave behind cannot be further infiltrated by damp and the creatures that crawl about. Some things I will have to throw away, such as my wash bag which is nest for centipedes and slugs and moulding. After cooking and eating on the beach I head towards the Slabs and find the track to the shed. Going up is more difficult that coming down and I am glad to have my sticks which are now my best friends. Before long I find myself in the woods, confused. Where is the shed? I feel I've gone too far. I turn around and retrace my steps, find myself within minute or so in the clearing as on the previous day and see the shed. I had walked right by it! That is how beautifully obscured it is by the ivy.
Portion Two ... http://www.musivine.com/blogs/318