The Greater Reading List II

Another circumnavigation of Reading, another reasonable summer day for it and another jumble of impressions:

  • Freshly shorn sheep seeking shade under trees around the edges of a field, the lambs now losing the curiosity they had in such abundance when very young.
  • Tired-looking left-over jubilee bunting. When’s the right time to take it down?  Do you risk accusations of disloyalty from a neighbouring monarchist?
  • A Goldfinch in its prime; strongly coloured and perched close to me as I rode by, perfectly set-off against a blue sky.
  • A ‘vacancies’ board outside a factory, with a vacancy they’re trying to fill.
  • An idiot in a sporty Bentley, taking brainless zero-gain risks.
  • Someone setting-up their easel to paint an old bridge over a stream; were they good at their work; would they come away satisfied or frustrated with their day’s effort?
  • The inevitable rotting infrastructure.
  • Construction at the Atomic Weapons Establishment site – investment, jobs, money: it’s growth of sorts. I don’t know how you’d feel working on weapons that can each kill tens of thousands. Do you believe Mutually Assured Destruction is a good thing? Do you just think of it as a job that if you weren’t doing someone else would?  Do you hope to see them used one day, believe in enemies of that magnitude?  Robert Wyatt’s song, Shipbuilding, came to mind but I’m not sure what I think. I didn’t even understand the so-called moral arguments against the neutron bomb.

Construction work at AWE

Building for better bombs …



  • A large deer’s corpse on a verge; you don’t have to see it – the smell is unmistakeable.
  • Three large blokes by a snack van, shirts off, stopped for lunch. Heads of brawn looking nicer shorn, to quote Bowie.
  • A thin, small, old lady with a walking frame, struggling, alone, each leg shaking as she laboriously made her way, step by individual step. She looked vulnerable and she looked lonely. Perhaps that’s just me. Perhaps she noticed me, a lone cyclist, and thought the same. I hope I’m as wrong about her as that would be about me.