Back in London.
I woke up this morning and had porridge with pear and blueberries and dates and cacao nibs and roasted pumpkin seeds… Then out into the new year world for a coffee and a walk. Through the woods, and up and down the slopes we went in a meaningless pleasant wander. Then a drive through the floodplains of Saltmarsh, and eventually by chance we passed the Wilmington Yew. 1600 years old this ancient chained and propped tree, in the grounds of a church, coloured and scarred by hundreds of ceremonies that have very little to do with the ones in the church that supports it. It’s a hell of a thing, that tree. Tangled up and wracked with chain, grown into its own supports, so old now and strong on its own with generations of help from humans.
You can’t miss The Wilmington Yew. “Wow! Look at that mushroom?!” shouts a ten year old boy looking at an iron bolt that has been driven in to hold the chains. Those chains must be 200 years old and they are there to stop it falling. More recent enterprise has propped it up with great big sticks. Successive generations of human have seen that it’s an ancient being and something special. People have spent money and time to try and keep the thing going, and so far there has never been the voice of the arrogant short-termist fool we all know anywhere near the decision making place for that incredible historic arbor. Most good people care about history in such things. I hope that tree outlasts me tenfold.
We went to The Sussex Ox for incredible roast lunch – I booked three days early after too many experiences of being turned away for Sunday lunch in Sussex on spec. You aren’t allowed to be spontaneous in Sussex.
Now I’m in my Chelsea bed and there is a drip by my ear every thirty seconds or so. My ceiling is still leaking. It stopped for years until they made us pay for scaffolding up the roof. Now it’s back, like I’ve paid to make it worse. I have work to do tomorrow so I’ll have to sleep somehow, but every drip I hear right now carries rage into my brain. The solution will be to put a T-shirt into the pan. And to stop thinking about the money…