Not a desert from the air. Nor a view of the surface of Mars! But the surface of a board of some composite material used to block a disused window.
I quite often pass a house where lives a writer, whose name I don't know. For some reason, today, I recall a neighbour, himself an author of distinction, who died last year, telling me about the writer. "I read a short story of hers, once, " he told me. "I have never encountered a more obscene piece of writing." Though curious, I did not pursue the matter with my friend as he was very old; and, it occurred to me, so shocked had he been by the story, that it might have done him no good to be asked to repeat its contents. This morning, I find myself again wondering about the story as I walk past the writer's house. If, I say to myself, I had known its subject matter and if the obscenity had been summed up in a few words, it would almost certainly have dropped from my mind. It is the mystery alone that keeps it alive.
Strange fruit: cupped among the topmost branches of a bare horse chestnut tree in Calverley Grounds, is a solitary football, grey against the grey sky.