Traveling in England in the wintertime is like walking around with your eyes mostly closed. Drowsy gray skies, fog seeping in-between your scarf and your neck, under your coat, and around your fingertips. Last night I had a few pints with friends at the Coach & Horses, forgot to eat dinner, and ducked into a minicab to get home. London is starting to look familiar to me, with the low brick houses, white trim, and wiry black fences.
This morning I caught the Cardiff Central train from Paddington station to Bristol, heading straight into a daze of snow. The snow was falling in London last night–big, fat flakes against the black night–but the glowing flurry blowing around the train is indistinct, powdery pink and gray.
I’m trying to put the finishing touches on this paper, but even as I come to the end it seems like dragging my feet through sludge. My mind wants to be doing almost anything besides writing, and so I stare out of the window at the houses, trees, and fields diffused through the smeary snow.
The English countryside is a landscape dreaming of itself, re-iterated over centuries, absolutely secure in the belief that this is what the countryside is supposed to look like, the gold standard of pastoral bliss. Low and flat and still green beneath the hulking, ponderous clouds that seem so much more layered and complex than the puffy fluff over Texas or the flat gray Bay area mist.
Writing this has made me able to start on my paper again–something about a loose, descriptive narrative allows me to segue back into the messy jargon of New Media crashing into Archaeology.