This mist-bound world moves with me as I turn down a narrow farm track. The hedge melts into view when I step forward, then dissolves away behind me.
I entertain these thoughts with a little thrill, almost certain the everyday world will return soon, when the mist disperses in the sun.
The human world is waking up. I hear the ringing clangs of someone working on their home extension, and there’s an old Land Rover idling, door open, next to a field of excited Shetland ponies. I cross the rail line just in time to see the tail of the London-Hastings train. But despite these signs, I meet no one. I circumnavigate a damp field, pick my way along an overgrown path, and meander beside a stream through a beech wood. I peer into a derelict shelter that looks like a horror movie setpiece, wave to an empty train, dash across the A2100, greet some friendly horses and find myself in Mountfield.
The mist has burnt off now, and the eeriness has gone with it. I receive a hearty, “Good morning!” from a group of adults and children trailing bikes and horses, out to make the most of a beautiful sunny day. It’s so sunny that after climbing across the stubble fields to Mountfield Church, I stop to put on some sunscreen.
I pause at a laden sloe bush and pluck a few handfuls of ripe, purple fruit to make sloe gin. As I do, I spot an odd thing: a crow with white wing tips flaps past me and begins strutting across the field. I later learn that these white feathers are a sign of leucism and they aren’t too rare an aberration. But for now, the puzzle stays with me as I head into Robertsbridge.
The train back to Battle seems to take seconds. Scenes whiz past too quickly to take in. “I walked there! And there!” I think. There’s nobody in the field where I waved to an earlier train, so I raise my hand to past-me, instead.