Will Vigar

A Writer of Sorts

Going Home: Keats – Episode 7

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April 22nd

Bit of a hangover. Not surprising. Thinking about the cellar project. I’ll need a lot more hay. I might have to take the truck out and look for a farm. Most of the local ones had already been stripped of assets by us. I might find a hayloft but after all this time, I don’t know whether it will be usable. If the worst comes to the worst, I’ll have some pretty choice silage, but I am going to have to think hard about increasing my stores. When there were a lot of us, the nearby fields were enough to keep us going, but as I’m on my own, the task of reaping and bailing is just too much work for one person.

It’s a clear day. I should do it now. If I go out of town, no more than two hours, I can get back before sundown. I’ll take the Bedford so if I find anything I can bring something back and then take the truck out another time for the rest.

Evening

It wasn’t long before I found a farm and there was hay. Not much though. The stuff in the loft was protected by the roof and still dry. The ground floor was wet and exposed. There was an enormous heap of rotted straw. I guess if there’s a slurry pit, I could mix it and the straw for some quality fertiliser, but I don’t fancy being up to my neck in shit today. I’ll just note it and come back later in the year.

Poking around the remains of the farmhouse didn’t yield much. There was a pantry containing a lot of tins and packets. They knew how to store up for rough winters! It looked like the chest freezer was full, too. Shame the electricity was off. A lot of the tins and packets are out of date, but we already noted that use by dates are a scam. We’ve eaten tinned stuff years after use by dates with no ill effects, so I gathered up as much as I could and put it in the back of the Bedford. There were more books, too. I was in two minds about taking the record player. It was the first one I had seen intact since I got here. There are no guarantees it will work and who ever owned the farm had terrible taste in music. Lighthouse Family for fucks sake!

My mind was made up for me when I looked in the upper rooms. One of the kids here was well into punk and new wave. Another was more into pop, Motown and Northern Soul. The third, pop and classical; some of the classical was recordings of the sheet music I’d found. Score!

I bundled all this bounty into the back of the van and filled the rest of the space will hay bales. By taking the food and music I lost out on three bails, but I can find the place again, so it’s not much of a problem.

I spotted a cottage further back on the land, just past the barns and took the van down towards it. As I got closer, it became apparent that there was little left of the building except the frontage, so I turned the van round and made my way back to the road.

And there, hiding behind the barn was a tank. An oil tank. Almost full. How the hell do I get that back? Noted. Logged. Go back later when I’ve worked out how the oil system works.

Really pleased to have found more music. All I have left is the piano and the battered cassette player in the van.  I tried removing that once so that I could have indoors but I don’t really understand the electronics. Had to fiddle about with it for hours befre it would work again. Lesson learned. It stays in the van.  Sometimes I’ll sit in it and listen to the few tapes I have left. They’re not all mine. Some were left behind by the others. There’s a few old ‘off the radio’ tapes from the John Peel show, my favourite being the Boots For Dancing Session with “Bend and Elbow and Lend an Ear” on it. Some deeply tragic pop that doesn’t get much of an airing; Tom Waits; Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy, Abba. My Favourite is Shriekback’s ‘Sacred City’. I’ve had to limit playing that. I’ve practically worn it out.The cats seem very skittish when I get home. Feels like a storm is coming.

 

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