Monday, January 21, 2008

Driving on the hilltop road, between Quessoy and Moncontour

I see an elderly man, with aluminium canes and backpack, walking seriously. Less comfortable, he is closer than I am to the mild, grey, windy sky and patterned land below.

7 comments:

Plutarch said...

I've made it by right clicking (I keep getting refused a comment by a pop up blocker) in time to say how well the 30-worder is working. In such a small space, so much! A mini-drama. Thomas Hardy would have made an 80,000 word novel of this.

Rosie said...

even without photos... I can see him quite clearly

Dick said...

A sharp, clear snapshot. It complements the pics below so well.

herhimnbryn said...

How far, I wonder, did he have to go?

Tall Girl said...

I wonder what about him seemed less comfortable? There is, as already observed, a hidden story here...

Avus said...

Funny that - I thought of Hardy and so did Plutarch!

Lucy said...

He was an unusual figure; his equipment, the aluminium walking canes etc indicated he was a hobby walker, but his solitude, his purposefulness, the size of his pack and the fact he was on the road not on a path gave the impression that he was travelling from place to place. He seemed something of a modern pilgrim. I too wondered how far he had to go.

I enjoy swooping over that particular rise and down into the dip in the car, but I was immediately aware of how he had laboured to get to that point up a long slow climb, he was a bit flushed from the exertion, but also how much more intensely he was experiencing the landscape and weather than I was, not being insulated by speed and metal. It echoed something that came up recently elsewhere about how earlier people were far more merged with the earth and the place they were in, but that this wasn't necessarily a comfortable experience.

Hardy; mm, though I thought he was probably walking by choice, whereas Hardy's characters seem to do so mostly through grim necessity! But I was reminded of the place names of Somerset and Dorset I remembered: Wearyall Hill, Labour-in-vain Hill and so on, when I saw him.

I've said much more here than there, but I said no limit on comment words, and responding to your comments is different!