Tim will always have a place in this wood. After the auction, after the 20 days, after the payment of the complete amount I took a bottle of champagne to the wood, with a chair and a glass, and the dog Kali naturally. I emptied the bubbling wine, walked the edges of the wood, watched Kali play with the cork. It was a June evening. We stayed until dusk. Thinking of Tim, I made a modest home movie and when we got back to the van I spent the night putting it together. Like when you write a letter, the who you are writing for flavours the intent and so it did with his movie. It is 4 years later, in June, that I write this in the wood, with memory.
Tim’s 70th birthday was a testament to the love of his family and us 3 friends: Christopher and Sarah Long and I. Edward, rounder and kinder, observant and playful. Alex who said straight away she was in one of her dark places, but you would never know she was so practiced and professional in her social camouflage mask. Their son Rupert gave the address, said the grace (Rev Rupet Demery, chaplin of Eton school) . His wife and their two playful children,who like all children loved giving commands to the dogs. Helen, widow of Alex’s brother, recently dead (switzerland) was good company, and will perhaps come to Suffolk later on in the year. And Tim. There at the head of the table. What were Ruperts 3 words he used to describe Tim? Proper, Kind and Funny. Yes.
Walk on Isle of Sheppey
All conversation in Kent was peppered with talk of the traffic (Don’t go this way, avoid the A whatever, traffic was terrible etc). Do leave before 6 they said, or you’ll be stick on M25. To avoid such a long drama, dogs and I went to the Isle of Sheppey to find a walk. Over the Swale to Sheerness where we parked, walked to a dead end dock they back and on – getting a parking ticket in my enthusiasm. Caravans cheek by jowl, humble people, pound shops some closed, and very popular benches in memory. Right at the end a collection of mums and todlers in buggies came towards me – a local keep fit for mothers.
Saw nothing of the 3 prisons nor the Shurland Hall but did not get caught in traffic along the M25 and headed up to Maidens. Warm welcome from Tinks, delicious swim, dog walk and rest. Camped in their wedding field where dogs cavorted.