Pearl the Airstream

It’s quiet here on the edge of The Maplehurst Wood. Yes, I can hear a road, and the electricity buzzes through the pylon cables nearby. But if I filter that out I can hear the softer sounds of nature, many of which will have been unchanged here for thousands of years.

I’ve known about this for ages. A 1953 Airstream – Pearl – lovingly renovated by a friend of Lou’s. Lou did the upholstery. The job is gorgeous. And we’ve been looking for an opportunity to stay here for months. Tonight and tomorrow it’s quiet here. In fact in a three fields full of glamping spots it’s just Lou and I and one family from Brighton in the next field.

“The good thing is, if a self tape comes through it should be due after the weekend now, so we can relax,” I tell Lou, tempting fate. More or less as soon as I utter the words my email goes ping and there’s one due on Friday. It’s not going to stop me relaxing. I’ll just have to mumble to myself occasionally learning lines.

But it’s beautiful and peaceful here and we’ll be able to relax. I’m sitting in pitch darkness right now in front of a fire pit. Occasionally I’m feeding in one of the slats from my old bed that I kept in my car for just such an occasion. Behind me, the wind in the trees and the tawny owls. Old earth beneath my feet, a strange bed in a metal box awaiting me, and it all means a chance to relax and unwind in nature. Unexpected and perfect, despite the fact that suddenly I’m going to have to learn some lines. Arguably that will make it even better. It’s a good part for me. If I can take the time to learn it I can nail it on a tape. And I’m in this game because I love it still, God help me.

I’m looking forward to sleeping in this peaceful field here. To waking up and just spending a whole day in green without all the usual noise and distraction. I’m glad it’s a quiet time for the glamping. I can indulge my misanthropy and connect with nature. And tomorrow I’ll just have to force Lou to read the scene opposite me.

We went for a walk in the old woods as evening fell. We found hundreds of inedible fungus including way too many earthballs – (or poison pigskin puffballs). We found a good amount of birch polypore which are antioxidant in bitter tea. We found one small beefsteak fungus, my second, which means that the next time I find a beefsteak I’m allowed to eat the thing.

I have strict rules with mycology. Even if it’s blindingly obvious I need to have positively identified it twice and not eaten it it before I dine on it. I’m hoping the upshot is that I don’t send myself to an early grave. There’s only a few total killers and I’m getting good at spotting them…

A tawny owl just called long and loud, just behind my left shoulder, warning me never to get too confident.

The bedslats are burning bright and warm in the pit in front of me. Once again I’ve lucked into a magical place. I’m going to stop this, let the flames die down, and listen just for a while…

Then I’ll look at my lines and go to bed. Two sleeps – that’s what I like to have for a decent learn. I wish the buggers had given us the weekend. But work is work and I want this part.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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