Monday, May 24, 2010

budding, starlings, office


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The early bud of a climbing rose, packed with energy, contains in its folded petals echoes of the big bang.

Starlings are plentiful this year, particularly, this afternoon, in the lime tree opposite our house. The din is tangible. It is a tree loaded with telephones.

In Hall's bookshop Peter announces to a colleague that he is going to his private office. I am the only customer, and he says to me, by way of explanation: "There is a lavatory upstairs. Customers are always asking if we have one, and want to use it, so we have a code. You, by the way, are always welcome to it." I say that I have lived in Tunbridge Wells for 25 years and feel that I have earned my spurs, or whatever it is that you have to earn to be offered, unsolicited, the use of a loo in one of the South East of England's most renowned bookshops.

3 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

That metaphor needs tweaking a little - try as I might I find spurs and lavatories immiscible.

Birds. The sparrows disappeared and 2010 became the year of the blackbird. They woke me at 04.30 when it was already hot and their power, inventiveness and stamina was on offer until I rose at 08.30. Blackbirds are anti-gardening. They wait on the fence as I water the newly planted plants (the work of Brian, our Baptist gardener) then fly down and start throwing bark chips out on to the low-maintenance gravel areas, whence they are difficult to collect. They are cocky and insouciant and the way they flip their tails up is surely the avian equivalent of giving house owners two fingers.

Plutarch said...

An odd cocktail, perhaps.

Sparrows are fairly plentiful here, though apparently not in London. Blackbirds are all over the place. They are noisy in the morning certainly. Perhaps it is no bad thing to avoid sentimentality about birds. Easy when you watch a blackbird carving a live earthworm into bite-size pieces for its insistant unpreposessing, young with their ever gaping beaks.

The Crow said...

Cowboys wear their spurs to the outhouse, so why wouldn't you have spurs in the loo?