Monday, 31 October 2011

Last night I dreamt I went to Stockethill again.


Last night I dreamt I went to Stockethill again. It seemed to me I stood by the granite steps leading to the path, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. The path wound away in front of me, twisting and turning as it had always done. But as I advanced, I was aware that a change had come upon it. The development spectacle had come into its pomp by some sudden empowerment and by brutal turn and JCB track had destroyed the gentle footpath with concreted ballast fenceposts for commercial hoardings, ripping to a shred the poor thread that had late been public right of way and its little steps and rustic benches. And finally, there was elm and beech; mature, tall and stately; secretive and silent. Surely even commerce could not mar the perfect beauty of those twenty-five metre trunks? The development spectacle can play odd tricks upon the fancy, and suddenly, looking at the aspirational promotional hoarding depicting mocked-up aspirational couples laughing in perfection outside their perfect new aspirational houses, it seemed to me that all might be as it had been, not one month before. And then a cloud came upon the sun and hovered an instant like a dark hand before a face. The illusion went with it. I looked upon the desolate tree-stumps, with no whisper of the past about their forever-gone canopies. We can never go back to Stockethill again.

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