I lean over the parapet of a bridge and watch the surface of the stream. What better way of watching time pass? I think why not? I point the camera and click. Now, I see the patterns frozen in time and fancy shadows where perhaps there were no shadows.
The World Snooker Championship is nearly over. This is a game which I have played only once and then in a state of postprandial well-being, which precluded my learning the rules let alone the techniques. But recently, thanks to the game's watchability on tv, I have been greatly attracted to it. I don't know the language of the game, but there are certain shots - the equivalent of a perfect cover drive in cricket or, in tennis, a backhand, low over the net into the corner of the base line - which make the heart beat faster, touch a nerve of admiration. In particular, in snooker, there is the shot where the cue ball is made to hit a red or colour ball hard and pot it, while itself, thanks to back spin, remains almost statationary after impact. The other is when only a gentle but sharply angled hit is required from the cue ball in order to pot a red or colour ball, and when this is achieved with the gentlest of kisses, and, at the same time, the cue ball is positioned perfectly for the next cue-shot.
Mr Crow is about quite a lot in the Grove these days. As fate would have it, this afternoon, when I might have taken a photograph of him, I do not have my zoom camera with me. I watch as he settles on a flowering cherry just in front of me, and then flies lazily, as crows do, across the playground and lands on another tree, where he poses on a bare branch. I watch him for a while, longing for the Olympus. He doesn't move and I walk on, to turn round after a few steps. Is he still there? At first I think that he is, but what I am looking at is a black space against a leafy background, a crow-shaped hole.