Tuesday, 12 August 2008

All quiet on the Western Front

Strange weather here today, lots of heavy rain and then a fantastic burst of sunshine. Jobs got done in quick time tonight, one of those evenings when it all seemed to go too smoothly. The sheep were somewhere on the hill, the goats were almost certainly bothering them somewhere so they were not around my feet or jumping into the feed buckets as I carried them to the pigs and horses.

At the bottom of the lane I saw an ominous set of tyre tracks leading off up to the ghost house. I did think I would collect some more apples for the pigs, they like free food as much as I do, but as I was stood pondering the meaning of the tyre tracks, the pros and cons of carrying a heavy bucket full of apples a third of a mile home I saw out of the corner of my eye a familiar shape amongst the bracken. I pretended not to notice wondering what Mad Keith was up to, more importantly what he would do next and whether I should drop the bucket if I had to run.

He sidled over trying to look as nonchalant as a hermit can when discovered in the foliage.

He stood with me looking at the tracks and we shared a few moments silence.

"I thought you were Murphy" he eventually said his voice tinged with relief.

I looked at him, he was studying my face for a reaction, he nodded "Ah, Murphy's back" he added as he watched me scuff the stones in the track with my boot as the implications of the information were dawning.

"I didn't know" I replied looking up the hill to the ghost house perched on a small westerly facing spot, the hill looked so peaceful. Mad Keith followed my gaze, "Ah, I thought you was him see, I saw him this morning but I pretended to be busy, I avent got time for him."

"Thanks for letting me know Keith, I'll give getting the apples a miss"

"He likes the apples too,I dunno what he does with em, crab apple cider I spect." he chuckled to himself.

"Cheers Keith" I turned and headed back along the lane, a narrow escape, Murphy is back on the hill. It is indicative of how much of your time he takes in any encounter if the techno hermit hasn't got time to spend talking to him. I knew the evening was going too smoothly, with him back we would all have to be vigilant that he didn't catch us unawares with a "I can see you're busy...."

Perhaps we should pretend we've moved until Mad Keith gives the all clear.
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