In the window of a charity shop, I spot a battery-powered remote controlled fire engine with extending ladder. A note says: "It works." For a moment the figure 660, without a full stop after the first six, makes me think that this prodigious toy is priced at £660. But, no, says the lady in the shop, it's 660p. "My husband couldn't stop playing with it!" she says. I sympathise with him. But I decide, after some thought, to put away childish things.
Outside our house I meet a beautiful thing coming up Mount Sion. It is the wise and beautiful Clare Grant, who thought up the idea of noting three beautiful things every day, and has done so herself on her blog, www.threebeautifulthings.blogspot.com for more than two years. She now lives round the corner from us. A strange and beautiful thing is that, when I first encountered her blog, I had no idea that she lived in the same town. Asked to guess where she lived, when I first read it, I would have said San Fancisico, New York or Sydney, so fresh and "new world" was the idea. Last year Saga magazine rightly listed her in its annual list of the nation's sapient talent.
I walk through the larger of our two local parks. It is called Calverley Grounds, and unlike most parks, has steep and picturesque slopes. A bandstand and a cafe sit in the middle. Once, in the dip between the slopes, there was an ornamental lake, fed by a stream. Both lake and stream are no more. But if you walk across the grass as I did today, there is mud on the grass where once the water of the lake must have lapped.