Travelling with a family on a lorry

I’m travelling with a family. They have a young boy, 5 or 6 years old. I have an old Super 8 camera that I give to him. I don’t know if it works. There’s a battery in it, so when you press the button you can hear the clicking, but I don’t have any film for it. It’s hard to find film for these things nowadays.

Nowadays is not a word I would usually use. I would usually say these days, but then saying these things these days might sound a bit strange, two theses so close to one another. Not that there’s anything wrong with sounding strange.

We’ve been travelling on a lorry. I have too many bags, and at each stop they unload everything and then load it back up the next day. I’m worried about losing things. I tell them the only things I really need are in my rucksack, all the rest can stay on the lorry overnight. It’ll be alright. There’s a load of other stuff on there. No one’s going to steal it.

I’ve been reading about some islands out in the Atlantic, out beyond Ireland, that are very sparsely populated, but which are now advertizing themselves and trying to attract tourists. They’re really just ridges running North to South, one above the other, and only populated along the leeward easterly side. Apparently you can rent a small cottage there, no electricity and outside toilet, for £20 to £30 a week.

But now we’ve passed through a portal and we’re staying in an abandoned aeroplane, crashed perhaps, but still intact, in a desolate (but not quite desert) landscape. The boy plays with the super-8 camera, pretending to film the security guards in their glass pods 1000 feet above the ground. One of them moves away from us, the spike-like spindle that supports it making an angle of 45 degrees with the ground. Mostly they stay between 80 and 90 degrees since this is the most energy efficient place to be, and being higher is much safer of course, but sometimes they do need to come down close to the ground.

We appear to be the only ones on the ground so far as I can tell, though it’s not dark yet. When it gets dark, if there are other people around, we’ll see the lights of their fires. I set down another armful of twigs on the pile. There are a few trees around but they all appear to be dead or dying. This area obviously used to get a lot more rain than it does now. It probably is technically a desert.

We have enough water to last us for several days, but after that we’ll either have to find some here or move on.

On the other side of the portal is New York, or what someone claimed was New York but it didn’t look much like New York as I remembered it. It was dark, around dusk or dawn, I’m not sure which, and I was standing in a doorway looking out onto a stretch of murky water. There was a steep rocky slope between me and the water. I had my bike with me. Someone, the same someone, was telling me there was a path along the rocks and if I got my bike down there I could cycle all the way around the island, but the first step, lifting my bike through the doorway and down onto the rocks, was proving to be too difficult. I could see where the path was, a flat area on the rocks, but before that the rocks were steep and wet. Some were covered in green slime. It would be easy to slip and find myself in the water at the bottom, or in one of the pools halfway down.

5 Comments

  1. fairtradetrousers · 8 September 2006

    I think the New York you saw through the portal was in the future

  2. Mbashta · 8 September 2006

    What the devil are you babbling on about, Jenkins? Pull yourself together, man! National Service, that’s what you need.

  3. fairtradetrousers · 10 October 2006

    I wonder what you think about the boycott of Coca Cola, legjoints?
    Do you think that if enough people saw that a negative bet against a harmful corporation was having wonderful positive gains then consumer power through the action of the targeted boycott could become the new democracy?
    Great blog, keep it going.

  4. paul · 14 October 2006

    I heard on the news the other day that less people are drinking fizzy drinks and more people are drinking these healthy fruit drinks. Coke is nasty sugary stuff – there’s no need to boycott it. It’s like boycotting shit. Telling people to boycott it maybe makes it sound more desirable than it really is.

    Consumer power can never be a substitute for democracy because those with less money will always have less consumer power. Democracy is about each person having an equal number of votes and therefore an equal amount of power.

  5. fairtradetrousers · 15 October 2006

    It’s hard to believe I know that you are in the minority thinking that Coke is shit!
    What if democracy has been hijacked and elections are being rigged?
    “Those with less money” are the majority; the myth that we have no consumer power is promoted by corporations whose continued stranglehold on the planet depends on us not realising that the opposite is true!
    The collective consumer power of those with less money is supporting the destruction of both democracy and ecology; the truth is that the same power (demonstrated through a targetted boycott of Coca Cola) can be used to begin to restore them.