The Things We Want To Have
19 July Tuesday
The high temperatures continue. Half the county is paralyzed by the heat. The other half rushed down to the sea. They came home disgusted. The coast is completely fogged in and it is not warm. It is chilly. In the village, boys are jumping off the hump-back bridge and into the river. After they come out of the water, they hobble over the rough field and onto the dirt path. They climb over the wall and out onto the road and up the hill that is the bridge to cheer on the next boys and then to do it themselves again. There might be girls down below but there are no girls on the bridge. I do not know if the water is deep enough to be jumped into from that height. The current is fast. There are a lot of big rocks. People often drown in this river but usually they drown at night and in winter and mostly after taking drink. Now it is as much summer as it ever is. The boys are hopping up and down on the hot tar with their bare feet. They are waiting for their turn.
18 July Monday
Silence hangs over the land. I can hear tractors in a far field, but just barely. Even from this distance, there is a sort of rushing intensity about the sound because there is the need to get the hay in. To get the silage in. To get the grass cut. Or the barley. Or the corn. Sunshine brings imperatives. Being a far off muttering of machinery, the sense of imperative is not my imperative. I scarcely hear these sounds unless I really really focus my attention in that direction. Everything close by is quiet and motionless. There is no reason for me to seek out noise and activity elsewhere, but I like to know that it is there. There are few birds making any sounds at all. Bees and flies are barely audible. The heat has silenced everything.
17 July Sunday
The dead bird is gone. I saw him yesterday from inside the barn. The long window is waist height for me, but it is on even level with the ground outside. I was inside and the bird was just outside. We were very close to each other with just the glass between us. I was certain he was dead and not simply stunned from crashing into the glass. He had flies all over him. He was lying face down so I could not tell what sort of bird he was. This morning he was gone. There were no feathers or boney bits to be seen. Maybe he was indeed only knocked out and he recovered and flew away. Maybe he was eaten. I do not think foxes eat things that are already dead. They prefer to make the kill themselves. Maybe it was a sparrowhawk.
16 July Saturday
This might be the best ever year for figs. The branches are heavy with them. If the heat continues I think there will be loads. I check them every day because I know the birds are checking too.
15 July Friday
They say that the recession is over and that employment is picking up all over the country. John told me that the truth is a different story. He told me that he does not need a bulletin off the radio to tell him how things are. His voice while he spoke was loud as he got angrier with the telling. He told me that Gerry had a robbery in his workshop last week. He said the only thing stolen from the workshop was some lengths of copper pipe. John said copper is easy to resell. He said that copper gets a good price. A lot of Gerry’s tools were lying around but none of his tools were stolen. One of the drills was new and another nail gun kind of a thing was not only new but it was German. John assured me that it was a good brand. John said it had been Savage Dear to buy. He said he knew that For A Fact. The tools were not stolen and John said that that tells him more about the lay of the land than any words the politicians are telling. He said that no one is stealing tools because no one is buying tools. No one is buying tools because there is no work. He told me that if there is no work there is no need for tools. He told me these were the facts. He told me not to waste my own time listening to any news off the radio or on the paper.
14 July Thursday
Two small boys were in the shop. They were together in the little toy section which is behind the vegetable section. They were examining the bags of plastic farm animals and the fencing and the various tractors on display. They were looking at all the things that they see in their lives everyday. In the toy section of the shop everything is the same as it is out of doors but it is all on a smaller scale. One boy said: Here we have all the things we want to have.