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This report is taken from PN Review 165, Volume 32 Number 1, September - October 2005.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

27 November 2003
A day of gale force wind and rain which settled towards dark and since then, yesterday and today, relative calm. More than that, complete calm this afternoon and evening. Suspended, so it feels, on a precarious edge of total stillness which must be soon to slide into more storm. Twigs don't move against the sky. Cloud is brushed out fine and filmy from the south, from the orange lower sky, with slips of it charged with burning chrome-orange, almost white. Smooth dove-grey masses, slightly plummy. The top of the sky is cerulean, yet chilled and sharp in impact. The heather on Dunwich Heath is quiet raw-umber, creamed with brown milk. The low sun puts the orange across it onto the trunks of the birches. Thin strips of short grass by the paths are emerald. The distance, beyond Minsmere scrape and including Sizewell, block and dome, seems altogether toned down so that it stands well back, ghosted.

We walked on the beach and the sea was an astonishment. Flat. Polished smooth right out to a thin darker strip at the horizon. The flatness was electrified and impossible in its brightness, the shadows on the sides of the small wavelets an artificial cobalt with purple in it, and a little rosiness on the top of the surge. But, to so far out, flat, shining silver like cellophane or silk. On the far rim of the bright area were five or six swimming birds, heads tilted ...


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