Kemsley to Teynham 10.09.12
The plan is to take advantage of a new bridge bypassing Sittingbourne and its arid industrial landscapes. I walk puposefully down the road from Kemsley Station only to spend 10 minutes going round in circles in a playing field looking for an exit. Advice from a local brings me back to the road where a church marks the entrance to a newly landscaped “nature reserve”. The grasses are dry and brown, the paths lead nowhere I want to go. To calm my agitation I stop to look at water lilies. Clambering through large tussocks of grass and over a fence bordering a miniature railway, I find myself staring at the spanking new main road which will take me across Kemsley Bridge.
A vast featureless wall of alluminium keeps me from the water until I find a narrow lane next to a huge depot which leads down to the muddy water under the bridge. Brambles snare my ankles, piles of empty beer cans litter the path at regular intervals. These sorry signs of human despondancy, make me scurry on up the side of the sluggish water, past the massive inert paper mill and finally out to the banks of the Swale. Here a familiar grassy sea wall winds off into the distance, slabs of dark shining mud on my left hand side, whispering rushes to my right. Far out a lone swan glides parallel to my route and cabbage white butterflies accompany every step I take. After a day of not seeing a soul I recognise the pleasure boat masts of the marina in Conyer and after an apple juice in the pub I walk through the fields of conference pears to the station at Teynham.