Seeking E-lec-tricity.

The cover of my favourite book on Electricity

I slipped over to Dilton Marsh to pick up a take-away. It was merely some stir-fried vegetables for my wife, and a curry for myself, no chips this time, just a portion of boiled rice, we were being good. the ride was a nice pootle, waves of showery rain were sweeping in but I had my Millets camo mac on and I was feeling pretty comfortable. Turning off the main road towards Dilton I heard a tremendously loud buzzing and thought maybe a bee had got into the hood of my coat. I pulled over and was amazed to find that the buzzing and fizzing was coming from a nearby pylon. The rain was reacting strangely with the electricity, having stopped I could smell something weird and metallic on the air, a bit ozone-ish. Oblivious to the pitter-patter of fat raindrops on my helmet, I stood astride my bike in the layby and my mind drifted back eleven years to another ride I made regularly between Chippenham and Hilmarton. I used to cycle home via Lyneham and Dauntsey on the winding back roads. One rainy day I was pushing the cranks into a mild headwind, my eyes fixed on a point on the rolling tarmac two metres ahead of my front wheel as the misty rain permeated the air. All of a sudden I felt an intense physical pressure on the top of my head, as if someone had pushed my head down. The air was making that crackling, fizzing sound redolent with the whiff of ozone. Looking up I realised I had just ridden under a powercable hanging over the road. I spent the next five minutes riding under it again and again, repeatedly feeling the strange pressure on my head before I became a bit wary of what it might be doing to my personal electromagnetic field. I continued on my journey and very soon the looming problem of the narrow, hairpin climb into Bradenstoke over subsiding tarmac pushed the recent eltromagnetic bath out of my mind. I’ve ridden under a fair few powercables since in all kinds of weather but have never again felt that curious pressure. Hearing that fizzing today brought it all back. Those are pretty powerful forces in those wires, especially when it rains. Back to the present day, that line of pylons runs parallel to the road to Dilton, as I rode beside the line it was apparent that it was just that one Pylon making the noise.

By the time I was on the return journey, my Hi-Viz vest stuffed with leaking plastic tubs of tuck, the rain had stopped and so had the fizzing.

Apparently my first word as a baby was ‘Pylon’, this was because as my dad drove me through the Cumbrian countryside, he would intone ‘pylon, pylon, pylon, pylon’ as we passed each steel-framed colossus. I’ve always been fascinated by them, I don’t know what it is, the size, the fact that they don’t blend in at all, all that negative space…

Post title from Electricity by Captain Beefheart.

Singin through you to me
Thunderbolts caught easily
Shouts the truth peacefully

High voltage man kisses night to bring the light to those who need to hide their shadow deed
Go into bright find the light and know that friends don’t mind just how you grow

Midnight cowboy stained in black reads dark roads without a map
To free-seeking electricity (repeat) (Repeat both lines)

Lighthouse beacon straight ahead straight ahead across black seas to bring
Seeking electricity

High voltage man kisses night to bring the light to those who need to hide their shadow-deed hide their shadow-deed (repeat)
Seek electricity………..

I like it, it’s a travelling song and it uses a theramin.

Published in: on June 21, 2007 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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