Friday, October 31, 2008

newdigate church

































the design and quality of the lettering on this little brass memorial are exemplary and i am delighted and puzzled by the contradiction in the last sentence
it says "she died" ... "& expecteth a blessed resurection", implying perhaps, that she is only sleeping patiently in her grave
i wish it had told us more about the person
if she still loiters here then i doubt that she will be feeling patient ... the victorians restored the church in 1877 and any graves and memorials that might be her contemporaries have been tidied away for ever

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the goddess of small things has adopted an interloper


do you ever get that feeling that someone is watching you ?

it wasn't just the angel who made me shudder, it was the two green eyes in the shadow beneath the A40 fly-over on Edgware Road

Sunday, October 19, 2008

insomniac photography ... putting down the book to rearrange some familiar treasures

my mother used to have a birthday around this time of the year and, chance being a fine thing, i woke up around three and found this little thought in proust ...

"When we have passed a certain age, the soul of the child that we once were and the souls of the dead from whom we sprang come and shower upon us their riches and their spells, asking to be allowed to contribute to the new emotions which we feel and in which, erasing their former image, we recast them in an original creation. Thus my whole past from my earliest years, and, beyond these, the past of my parents and relations, blended with my impure love for Albertine the tender charm of an affection at once filial and maternal. We have to give hospitality at a certain stage in our lives, to all our relatives who have journeyed so far and gathered round us."

... so then it seemed appropriate to celebrate both proust and sylvia and, as it were, the crossing of their paths in the night ...




Saturday, October 11, 2008

in praise of local colour




Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief

That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

Friday, October 10, 2008

i'm no good at gardening ... my back hurts ... but my aunt and my daughter and my sister v are all dedicated to the soil






v has recently rented a council allotment in swindon and is studying the neighbouring gardeners in her blog ... do take a look






i did once have a marginal interest in horticulture, viz: the choreography of italian rice planting


... and so on and so forth ...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

3BT from the last week

An undulating hillside of newly cultivated yellow soil, framed at the top with dark straggling pines, is so evenly drilled-and-tilled that it flashes past the corner of the trucker’s eye like braided hair.

The wind rips great flurries of orange and yellow beech leaves that swirl across my dazzling sunlit path as I drive on a straight street towards a brisk and unhappy looking young man with harmoniously dark red hair who seems too pre-occupied to be aware of his moment of solitary beauty.

On a darker morning, the massive mast of a cedar tree is almost black behind veils of driven rain whilst the busy silhouette of a great woodpecker methodically rat-a-tats an upward dance from base towards crown.

a dark and rainy stay-in-and-read day on putney heath


The Meteorological Office tells us that, "A deep low pressure just north east of Shetland extends a complex frontal system back through the North Sea and England with a second low centre formed over southern Ireland. This is bringing heavy rains to England with some strong winds as shown by the tightly packed isobars around the south coast. North of the fronts the isobars are much slacker hence there are lighter winds".


Just the sort of day when you would leave your yachting cap on its peg and welcome in to your mahogany study Alain de Botton's sweetly good-humoured and occasionally sharper than lemon-juice taster ... once the maid has lit the fire and drawn the curtains, of course.