Sunday, December 07, 2008

of an era, lost, mist and frost

Posted by Picasa I feel a little guilty about stopping to photograph this front door as I walk past. It belongs to one of the houses facing Tunbridge Wells common. It is like snapping a person unaware, a sort of intrusion. But the door captures some of the elegance of Tunbridge Wells, a spa town, the heart of which was built mostly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Before the spring of rusty water (it has a high iron content), which attracted visitors in search of its supposed medicinal qualities was discovered in 1606, there was no town or village here.

Clive James, in his 10 minute talk on Radio 4 this morning, made me laugh out loud. A slightly bitter laugh. Describing his study, he admitted to feeling compelled sometimes to replace a book which he knows he possesses and is somewhere on his over crowded shelves, but which he cannot find, when he urgently needs it. It is something, which I have had reluctantly to do from time to time. However, it has its compensations. When I find the duplicate copy, I can have the satisfaction of presenting it to a deserving person.

This morning, when I raise the blind of our bedroom window, I see mist behind the tulip tree. It masks the rising sun like a shade of fine porcelain. The hedge and lawns of the houses opposite are white with frost. We used, I suppose, to take mist and frost for granted before climate change set in, but now they tug at the heart, like something old and established that seems to be fading from our daily lives.


Zhoen said...

A beautiful portal.

Dave King said...

That last paragraph is so beautifully written, the descriptions are so lucid, I fancy I can see the scene exactly as you paint it.