Observatory 1 (Bob the bailiff’s hut)
Gravesend / TQ 655 745 / 18.7.08 / Moonrise 04.47 at 98% full moon
Dogs chase children on bikes, cycling about the hut and attracting attention. ‘Are you the new bailiff?’ asks Jim, one of a few men fishing the nearby lake. ‘We need someone down here. Since Bob died three years ago it’s got bad. Dave and me pulled a bike out and a shopping trolley. How can you fish in all that?’
The hut is a time capsule. A teapot, a tray of washed up mugs, keys, nets, a litter picker and pictures of fish caught in the lake adorn the wall. ‘Can I look at the photos? Nice carp that’ says Tony, scanning them by the light of a head camera. ‘We had a kitty and used to have our coffee here.’
‘An old fox comes by, you’ll see him’. ‘One fox? There’s loads of them’ adds a new voice, ‘We leave out chicken bones for them.’
Sounds of jolly shrieking and laughter carry on the wind from a distant high street, one of the dogs barks at a moon nearly lost behind an overcast sky and my camera loses its video signal. Kneeling down to look at the cables beside the fence, I put my hand in fresh fox poo.