From Platform 1 at Tunbridge Wells station you can see through the tunnel looking south. In the frame of the tunnel, I see, at the far end, in bright sunshine, a group of workmen in safety jackets. In anticipation of the train and, in fact, giving advance warning of its arrival, they cluster at the edge of the line like orange flowers.
Through the train window is an expanse of blue sky; across it, two white vapour trails make a perfect St Andrew's cross, the national flag of Scotland.
The stags are rutting in Knole Park. It is perfect weather for rutting. A group of stags and hinds perform on the gentle elevation, just above the Tudor house, as though they are putting on a show for the inhabitants. Hinds sit or stand about coyly, while the stags trot up and down. When other stags so much as look at their harems, they make rude and threatening, burping sounds, or challenge newcomers with lowered antlers. I talk to a man with an extravagant looking camera on a tripod. I ask if is a professional photogapher. "No, I'm builder," he says. "This is my obsession" This and bonsai. Do you know bonsai? Isn't this beautiful, " he says. "Isn't England the most beautiful country in the world? Pity to see it all go. Not just this, the whole country! " Then he adds, "Not in our time fortunately." An old man talking to an old man. I point out an ancient stag sitting away from the rest, uninterested in the competetion. "Retired, " I say, " like us!"