Saturday, February 20, 2010
sweeper, opera, blackbirds
The Tunbridge Wells Opera House, with its central green copper dome and two adjacent cupolas of like material, is one of the town's most conspicuous landmarks. Despite its name it has only very rarely seen the performance of an opera. When I first came to know it, it served as a bingo hall. Now it is a J D Wedderspoon pub. Outside its ornate entrance, this afternoon, is a grey haired man in a white sweater. "I love you", he days in the raised voice which people adopt for mobile phones. "Love you. "Pause."Love you. Bye. Love you." He closes his phone and retires through the grand doorway. There is a smile of satisfaction on his face indicating that he can now enjoy another drink with his mates, relatively guilt-free. The performance, I think to myself, is very little short of operatic.
In one corner of The Grove there are invariably blackbirds. Today I count eight of them. They are mostly males, but there are at least three females. Roll on the Spring.