Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Dungeness is haunted. It is the most haunted place I have ever been to. And the most haunting. Everything is a ghost here, everythng hangs in the shadow of death. Life is built upon discard and decay, memory and emptiness. Only artists and murderers can live here. Only the crazy or the really crazy. Only the dying and the wayward.

Of course I'm talking metaphorically here. For me, the whole place is an artwork, and being here, is like moving through a Dali painting or waking up and finding yourself in a David Lynch movie. It is a place of dark soundtracks, where fish eyes look up at you, dead and resigned. Where everything is disheveled and dissolving. Where a smoking oven stands abrupt in a desert wilderness. Black pylons so beautiful you could weep. Where British flags fly from every wooden house, ragged and torn apart by harsh winds. Where people build houses without windows and make gardens out of jelly shoes and rust and empty green bottles.

Where mouldering sheds spew green fishing nets and grey plastic casing that haven't been touched for years, where boats are left on the shingle to slowly rot, and a train track abruptly begins from the side of the road, all the way down to the sea - a railway that is going nowhere, a train track that is taking nothing.

Where a film maker and artist built his living room so he could look out over the huge infernal power station that casts its dread over the whole place, that shines at night like an ancient palace, that makes a constant hum, and never sleeps, plutonium death at its core.

Where it feels like the end of the world, no coming back, and the gulls rise and fall on the mud flats, wild flowers grow from every corner. This is one of my most favourite places in the world.

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