It really is an ordinary field. Probably like hundreds and thousands of others. It isn’t exceptional in any particular way, so anyone finding a blog about it interesting, is doubtful.

But for me it’s personal. I am writing about this field because it is cathartic, so please bare with me.

I think as an introduction and to lay it out straight in my mind, my encounter with this field is a process. A comforting ritual, a stabiliser. Without spending too much time self-analysing (because the joy of visiting this field is precisely not doing that), it is a low key way of finding something to connect with. Not even that really, just a place I am drawn to look at.

I’ve had a gap (from making art, I mean) and in this gap I have not been able to put meaning to much. I’ve tried. I’ve been a gibberish, timorous, over anxious, self-loathing (like literally wanting to beat myself round the head for three years or so) restrained individual, to the point of  creative paralysis. So with self worth levels as an artist so low, I think I’m actually encountering a sense of freedom I’ve not really felt before.  The field is my anchor place; a constructive, manageable restraint for a person adrift.


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The half term predictably took it’s toll on my field visits and my utter idiocy (losing the ‘new post’ button, huh?) definitely put me behind writing my blog posts. Anyway I’ve sent the kids back to nursery and school and the wonderful Robin has reacquainted me with the all important button, so hopefully I can continue without too many more bouts of stupidity.

I did manage to steal a few visits over the holidays and had some revelations. Mainly, the Red Kite is not, after all a Red Kite. It is in fact a Buzzard. The Sunday before last I caught him hoping around on the floor under the pylon, then up he swooped onto his regular perch and then again off he went over to a post on the far side of the field. No forked tail, no Red Kite.

It’s funny, because since this sighting and realising his true identity, I’ve not seen him, but his presence lives on in the persistence of my binoculars, which I haven’t left behind since.

My visits are starting to take on a bit of a rhythm. Now I am no longer a walker but am embracing my new role more as explorer, I’ve found myself taking up some strange behaviours. There’s an alternative call, away from the well trodden paths and into the shadowy undergrowth. The tights are suffering!

Two hours I spent traipsing up and down inside a thicket of trees at the bottom end of the field on Sunday. This is not normal behaviour, says the reasonable person walking by with their dog (in my head). But in the name of exploration, this is perfect relief, scratching that itch.

There’s a little path, so faint but still, there. It’s an old path maybe from a different time, before the current situation of the field or maybe there are still others that find cause to walk a path that is much more impractical and secluded than the existing one.

Finds are rife and littered amongst a covering of sticks, dried leaves and ivy, is stuff. A piece of this and a snippet of that. A pen lid, a slipper, a piece of bark, unidentifiable broken coloured plastic.

I sift through as I make my way along the path, hunched over and engrossed in the possibility of finding things, clues. Then I swear something brushes on my side and I jump a mile in the air, with my heart racing. Shit, nothing, I’m aware suddenly this place can spook me.  It’s chaotic nature seems to present possibilities somehow, but the chaos and unpredictability, it’s accessibility with moderate seclusion, definitely play a part in this somewhat mild, if gently simmering, sense of self danger.

Imagination is what it seems to tempt.


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No Red kite today but a sky lark in full swing. Competing with the roar of the A1 morning traffic.

It’s a noisy field, in fact it is a field that separates almost everything. Factories, train-line, motorway, allotments, orchard, housing development, school and rubbish tip.

For some reason, behind the rubbish tip is were I ended up today. Picking up a subtle but definite path into the bushy undergrowth, I crunched my way in away form the designated path, trying not to get my tights snagged on rogue brambles as I went.

A path that leads to nowhere but the corner of the field, it’s borders, marked out on both sides by the metal palisade fencing. On the south side the train-line, on the east side the rubbish dump.

A patch of what? Trees, branches bare against the blue sky, scattered with the odd old birds nest. Underfoot is uneven and slightly spongey like there might be layers of something underneath this greenish mossy covering. I can’t think what it could be. Over by the train-line I spend some time scanning the various bits of rubbish. Little bottles, miniature bottles, like the single shot type. Loads of them, generally strewn about the place and the occasional larger type. Spiritual feeling of a different sort today. I wait a while, generally soaking up the atmosphere. Take an empty bottle in my pocket for a memento and head on up the hill. Watch the skylark directly over my head, through my binoculars and then photograph a bottle cork pinned on to a bit of barbed wire.

Thank you for your offerings today field.


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I visit this place once a day. Arriving around 9.20am. A hectic drop off at School and nursery, pick up the dog, then on to the field.

Down a muddy footpath with fantastic amounts of dog poo to have a good self righteous tut at, past the barred and gated allotments and then out into (this morning) blinding sunshine.

This place is suburban, available, convenient in it’s location. One can’t really imagine adventuring here, no need for special hiking boots or supplies, no need for any forward planning.

It can be a bit windy.

And it does have a nice view over Baldock and St Mary’s Church (a church is always a nice focal point in a view, right) but the church spire is out done by the towering grey pylon, right in the middle of the field.

This pylon was my focus this morning. Yesterday I came, as everyday, suitably unprepared, with a wad of escaping poo bags exploding from my pockets, a crappy camera phone in hand, one glove off, one clutching a recently filled bag complete with smelly deposit.

All of a sudden I got a stab of excitement to see a large brown blob, perched on the lower half of the pylon. Red kites are frequently sighted here now. So my completely untrained eye, suspected as much. Damn, nothing to see it with and a growing frustration at myself for the binoculars, lying at home in the garage somewhere.

So today, I did some forward planning and dug out those bins. But surely, he won’t be there today.

9.30am – trying to get a picture of a passing train to London on my crappy camera phone and there perched up on the same beam. He sits.

I am so pleased with myself and having binoculars that I feel quite elated. Like this moment is just for me. It’s spiritual almost.

I watch him for a bit and he doesn’t do anything in particular. In fact his still, air of quiet contemplation, gives me a weird sense of my own impatience. I fiddle around with my phone in a ridiculous way, trying to get a picture through the lens of the binoculars, with limited success and then carry on up the hill. Seeing him (no idea of the gender of this bird) feels like an experience, or an encounter at least.


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