Monday, March 12, 2007

tune-less singer, high balls, pumpkin seeds

There is a man who walks through the town singing in a peculiar, tuneless manner, not proper songs, but, it seems, songs composed of whatever comes into his head. I hear him in the Grove before I see him. I look in the direction of the sound, and there he is. He is carrying an orange bag, and, as he crosses the main walk of the park, performs a little, rhythm-less dance. Nobody takes any notice of him. And he doesn't mind, because he seems completely self-absorbed.

Three boys are trying to dislodge a football lodged in the branches of a tree. They kick or throw another football at it in order to knock it down. As I watch their unsuccessful attempts, I notice yet another football stuck in some branches even higher up the same tree. Will they fail in their attempts, and lose the third ball up the tree? I make a note to check the number of balls in the tree the next time I walk past.

In the Pantiles, we drink big glasses of Sancerre in the warm sunshine and nibble grilled and spiced pumpkin seeds.

2 comments:

Rashmi said...

How large a town is Tunbridge Wells? It sounds like a compact little place from your decriptions..

Plutarch said...

It has a population of 45 000. This becomes 104, 000 if you include outlying villages which form the borough (or administrative area) of Tunbridge Wells.It is a relatively new town having been founded only 400 years ago upon the discovery of a supposedly health-giving spring. A Spa town grew up round the spring,and the terraced area called the Pantiles, which became the focus of fashionable people from London, about 50 miles to the north. It flourished as such in the Georgian era between 1700 and the the 1830s. It subsequently developed as a residential town where people built comfortable houses many commuted to London. The town is pretty and hilly, and curves round a large common.
You may be interested in Clare Grant's other website - tunbridgewellstells, which is linked to Three Beautiful Things.
I think you should respond on your blog with a description of Pune.