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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 16 Jun 2010, 07:40

Seventeen weeks into a twenty two week course H807, Innovations in E-learning, I decide that I have to get a desk - flat-pack and cheap, as I can't work effectively with a broken laptop (screen gone) perched on the end of the bed leaning on a toy 'trolley compute console' thingey with printers and files in stacks on the floor. No cupboards, no shelves. The house still has that 'just moved in' feeling ... or rather, just emptied the removal van.

We've been here for nearly 3 years.

Life, eh? I've learnt that if you don't sort a place out in the first few weeks you never do, we never have. Though there is a lovely hedge around the garden. Pity you can't grew furniture too.

So why am I still perched on the end of the bed peering at a screen between a stack of ring-binders?

Lovely desk, but my son has it. He has homework to do too.

Does it matter?

For me, I've always liked a desk, shelves and desk space ... somewhere to spread out. I've always liked a 'room of my own,' as Virginia Woolf put it and was ok until the assemblages of family pressed in and the need to relocate out of the country and into a town for schools and easier commutability to London led to a series of compacting exercises.

Excuses?

I think I'll take the dog for a walk on the South Downs.

As Nietzsche said, 'how can anyone become a thinker, if he does not spend at least a third of the day without passions, people and books?'

Or is the dog a passion?

And the South Downs?

Try High Barn to Hope Gap and the River Cuckmere with the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head in the distance and the English Channel Horizon 15 miles or so away.

Where I think.

(I think !?)

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Design Museum

The best walk in the world

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 18 May 2010, 10:56

The best walk in the world just got better - not a plane in the sky. The walk from High Barn down to Hope Gap with the view of the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters and the English Channel is inspiring any day. It is glorious at 5.00am with a clear sky - a sky devoid of the usual tapestry of vapour trails, an experience all the better without the repetitive distance rocket roar of jet engines.

This is, I understand, some of the busiest air space on the planet. It is called Seaford and takes in air traffic leaving and landing in Gatwick, Heathrow and Stanstead ... and no doubt intercontinental flights from Europe heading to North America.

On a no-fly day the sky is open to the heavens. Otherwise the vapour trials like lines drawn to a distant vanishing point on an artist's sketch cage you in. I shouldn't be so poetic, it is graffiti. We should not have to tolerate any of their pollution, not the fouling of the air, not the noise or these visual intrusions on the natural world.

The busiest shipping lane in the world looks it. There are ships and tankers and ferries of various enormous sizes strung out along an horizon some ten miles or more away to the South.

The tide is further out than I have ever known; I have walked here often for ten years. It must be a spring tide. I take this advantage to walk out to the water's edge and look back and forth along the coast, East to the lighthouse of Beachy Head and and West far beyond Brighton & Hove to Littlehampton.

There is a single yacht heading West. I wish to be on it.

The walk takes me around to the mouth of the Cuckmere River where I lay down to enjoy the empty ceiling above my head. It won't last long. I need a fish eyes lens to capture it all. A rare sight.

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