Monday, August 27, 2007

drinking time, moth, shuffled

A sunny August Bank Holiday afternoon, and everyone is drinking; the smell of lager hangs over the Pantiles. Drinkers, pints in hand, stand around or sit on the wall or the steps. Children run and tumble at their feet. A group is pumping out rock from the stage at one end. The place has become a big, open air pub. People, usually taciturn or sullen, gradually taken over by alcohol are granted the gift of speech and wisdom. The sun blesses the flow of talk. A few years, perhaps 20 years ago, such a relaxed and merry scene would have not been thought possible in Tunbridge Wells.

In the garden for a moment I bend down to dead-head a marguerite and realise that, sitting on the spent flower that I am about to remove, is a very small brown butterfly with gold spots on its wings.

We bump into a couple of people I have known for years. Both, when I knew them before were married to different people. You would not have thought of them as a couple, or even as likely to have known one another. But, they seem be united now, very happily it seems, by a curious mechanism that, these days, seems to shuffle people like playing cards.


tristan said...

aah ! that'd be the queen of hearts swapping a jack for a king, then

Lucy said...

Good to see it's not all doom and gloom in Britain's drinking culture!
It's probably not really wisdom they've been granted, it just feels like it at the time...