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This report is taken from PN Review 152, Volume 29 Number 6, July - August 2003.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

July 1991

On an early evening drive to Royer, to fetch milk. The cowsheds there are more hot and humid than I have found anywhere else. The sweet thick smell of the cows is enclosed. There is a view along the passage behind their rumps, to a far door, deep, golden light through it, a man with an overhanging belly standing in profile. Swallows are diving inside, and through, and close around in the yard outside. A little, fat, dark, big-pawed, blunt-muzzled puppy is lapping milk from a bowl. One cow lies down. All the beasts are silent, seeming tired. There is a sickliness which is gratifying in its strong evidence of a life-style, the density of it, the daily milking under the low wooden beams, in the furry darkness.

Sit on the bank, by the road, outside the pillared gate of the gite. Grass blades, six inches long, soft enough to pack under my knees as my legs hang down over the low field, round which this deeper part of Dulphey stretches. Dusk runs to dark, and stars come out. Another windless evening. Sounds come sharp, local, yet audible everywhere in this cupped landscape. For a few moments, someone is hammering a metal rod into stony ground, the feeling of the materials entirely explicit in the sound. It does not go in well. Presumably he is repairing fences for the rabbits, bred in the field behind. To my left, the Ebenisterie, long and lightless. ...


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