buried in exotic ground

Buggy tracks in snow. Spindrift blowing off the roofs. Silhouette of a labrador dog hauling the silhouette of a woman across Grove Road; detail from a Lowry of the West London suburbs. Meanwhile the van from Bathrooms At Source–a constant visitor to this pleasant street–ploughs its way responsibly towards the river, first-responder to the morning’s soft catastrophe. Everything is so hushed as he makes his way down! In Barnes, bathroom commerce, second only in religion to kitchen commerce, must go on. He’s closely followed by Bespoke Carpentry. Meanwhile, over in “Burma”, no crates of preserved Spitfires have come to light. Buried Spitfires! The very words are like a knell, awakening the British retroconscious to a deep sense of itself. The earth with which they turn out not to be compacted is the authentic dark chocolate of myth. We dream that Spitfires lie buried in exotic ground, the exact way they are embedded in our diffusing memories of empire. Meanwhile, perhaps the Spitfires dream themselves, in some half-world of suspended purpose, the trope of sci fi war machines made obsolete by time, waking too late. It’s the final reinscription. Ballard would have loved it.

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8 Comments

Filed under lost & found, snow, the disaster

8 responses to “buried in exotic ground

  1. Greg Penfold

    Oh yes – garden aeroplane traps …

  2. Simon

    How even just (and in particular) the sound of a spitfire can evoke a nostalgia for a time never experienced is beyond me. Even as I’m overwhelmed by it.

  3. Watch out. You’ll have herds of post post-colonialists following you if you’re not careful! Fab post.

  4. iotar

    And then there’s the classic wartime lard archaeology. We really knew how to make lard back then:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-21079285

  5. iotar

    BTW: as a part-Burmese who has never been to Burma the exotic whiff of the Auld Country brings a buzz of disconnected nostalgia louder than spitfires.

  6. uzwi

    That lard has waited deep in the British retroconscious etc etc

  7. whiteonesugar

    Big congrats on the BSFA nomination.

    I spent a lovely half hour skiving from work in the ubersnowstormofdeath and reading about the awards.

    As a reader I tend not to pay much attention to awards, simply because nothing I enjoy reading ever wins. With a bit of luck this year will be the exception. Have a virtual glass of bubbly on me.

  8. uzwi

    Thanx, whiteonesugar.