Sunday, March 08, 2009

pond, memory, sunlight

Posted by Picasa A large puddle in Calverley Ground, often occurs after rain. Local historians will tell you that the hilly park in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, used to boast an ornamental lake. This is all that remains of it, and only in wet weather; but a town that has no river, no fountains and few ponds other than one or two skirting the Common, should be glad even of this temporary and least dramatic of watery features.

Seldom able to remember lyrics even the best known ones, I am impressed by Barrett Bonden's recollection of the song which contains the words "pale moon" and which eluded me and the visiting crow, two days ago. And I'm grateful to him for enlightening us. Despite the banality of the words, his remembering them, is a beautiful thing; as it must be to hear him sing them while doing the washing up.

While waiting outside a shop I stand in a shaft of sunlight, which descends over the spa building in the Pantiles.

4 comments:

marja-Leena said...

I kept coming across mentions of Pantiles and finally googled it... interesting that the name comes from a type of tile! I assume it's a shopping centre? Also, do you know the Ivory-Merchant film "A Room with a View"? I was told that part of it was filmed in Tunbridge Wells, a very pretty place.

Plutarch said...

The Pantiles is a tree-lined, arcaded walk on two levels. It is the site of an evil-smelling and evil tasting spring of brown water (rich in iron). Its discovery in 1606 was the origin of the spa town of Tunbridge Wells. The Pantiles does have shops, pubs and restaurants, but I would not call it a shopping centre. It is known as the Pantiles because it was orginally paved with locally made tiles of that description.

Because the water looks and tastes so awful people think (or used to) that it must be good for you. During the 17th Century the town grew to become a resort, where people came down from London to gamble and otherwise cavort. When tourists visit the town they usually make for the Pantiles, take a sip of the water, and if they survive, go away and never come back.

tristan said...

no doubt that ray of sunshine illuminated, for passers-by, a battered ghostly halo and a tarnished pair of wings ... which thought suddenly sends me off on a tangent of recollections as it reminds me of that sweet film "wings of desire" ... thus the mind leapfrogs the ridiculous in pursuit of the sublime

Plutarch said...

A German film wasn't it? I once met briefly one of the actors who played an angel in it.