by John Hopkins

March 17, Tilmanstone, Kent

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here in the countryside village of Tilmanstone, Kent, in a Manor House once owned by a family who were Facist organizers in the UK immediately preceeding WWII. I'm staying with David and Francis. Francis picked me up yesterday at Heathrow on my arrival from Ice Land on an early morning flight. everyone sleeps in until noon, something I haven't done since I can remember! usually up at 7:30 am. I am exhausted from jet-lag and a late night dinner with friends in Reykjavik and the accumulated stress of travel. David had also just returned from New York City -- on tour with a group of his students from Winchester School of Art -- we had already met at my friends Stefan and Ellen's flat in Manhattan last week. today we go to Deal, a village on the coast near Dover, for lunch at a "caf" and then on to Canterbury to stroll around the exterior grounds of the cathedral. dinner with Michael and David after they return from moving some of David's artworks from someplace to somplace else around the M1. time is moving very rapidly. after a day in London doing some tourist things (visiting the dry-docked Cutty Sark and walking the south shore of the Thames for a bit, well, running to keep up with David who always has to walk like a New York broker on MDA), we catch the film TRAINSPOTTING which is a basically bleak look at life in the UK. we stay at friends of Francis' house right off Black Heath where the victims of the Plague were buried wholesale. the area is now just grass fields in the middle of London. plenty of crows hanging about conspicuously. later that day in the rain I have to repeatedly push-start David's Saab as we are driving from Winchester to Southampton.