Thursday, 4 December 2008

Dear Suzy,
I cycled round the stretch of ring road which takes in a bit of the A4074 and a section of the A4142 on a clear and sunny morning. I was on the cycle path with good views of the river and meadows on one side and bright sunshine reflecting off the wet road surface on the other. I have driven down this stretch many times, but a slower pace made me more aware of my surroundings.

I had not previously been aware of how close the Rose Hill estate is to the Ring Road as the backs of houses are partially screened by trees. From back gardens the overgrown ground slopes down to a cycle and footpath and there is another area of grass and scrub before the road. This area is an unofficial dump and it looks as though many people dispose of their rubbish by throwing it over the garden fence. Visually this was fascinating – a fight between nature and damaged consumer products. Wide screen tvs wedged between trees, prams, toys, old fans, a fish tank…

I found a pile of old bed springs as well, and as I couldn’t carry them on my bike I decided to come back for them. Visually they are very interesting as they still have an element of their original structure, but are branching out chaotically. They remind me of maps of the city and the sense in which cities are planned but then seem to take on a life of their own.

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