Saturday, January 24, 2009

roadmap, essentials, plain trees

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Which exit?

As I set out for London in the rain, I reluctantly take an umbrella. I have never liked umbrellas, even the tightly rolled symbols of respectability carried by bowler-hatted city gents in the old days. They are an encumbrance, a restraint on freedom. In the country I never use an umbrella, but I am going to London. The one I am carrying is a miniature of the species designed, when collapsed, for the pocket or a slim brief case. As I walk to the station, I find it comforting enough to hear the raindrops pattering on to the nylon above my head. But still the umbrella is not an essential companion for an outing. Of those there are plenty enough. I walk through the Grove checking them in my mind. Money for the fare, the wherewithal to pay for the lunch to which I have invited my brother, my notebook (pen to write in it and pencil to draw in it), compact camera, and the Arden Shakespeare edition of Pericles (which has served this purpose unopened for about six months) in case the train breaks down. What has happened to freedom, I think to myself, if it is so hard to go out without having to tick so may boxes first?

The globular, prickly brown fruit of the London planes on the otherwise, bare branches of the trees are at eye level with the first floor window of the bar above the Aldwich where I am sitting. On the basis of their appearance, they alone remind me of lychees, though, ready to disperse their seeds in the Spring, they are different in all other respects from that exotic fruit.

5 comments:

Zhoen said...

I think I would most love to go out with just and umbrella, no keys, purse, wallet, nothing electronic.

Barrett Bonden said...

I'm astonished that Pericles has remained unread for six months, given the train services in south-east England. But then I reflect: one of the great pleasures of retirement is never having to travel at rush-hour.

Plutarch said...

The response to both comments has to "the blog, the blog"! Without the self-imposed demand for curious images and snatches of dialogue to fill it with, I could wander free, and read Pericles in between wanders.
You're right about commuting, BB. It's one of those often excruciating rituals of the past now barely remembered, as it must be for you!

den said...

Had resolved to do less reading in pursuit of more productivity, i.e making bread, in effort to raise self esteem, I wanted to hold aloft and say "LOOK". But since discovering 3BT having leaping from lilly pad to lilly pad across space like demented frog. Shall have to put you on my daily fix as well as 3BT now.
Will I ever learn to knit or crack the computers potential.
p.s loved photo on 8th Jan

Plutarch said...

Thanks for your visit, Den. Breadmaking is very satisfying. I bake bread usally once a week, and have been doing so for years. Once you have a routine, it doesn't take too much time. You can hold your loaves aloft and say "look", and still have some moments left to jump among the lily pads.