Monday, June 26, 2006

Garden rubbish, "confusedness in words", rain noise

For many years there has been an arrangement whereby people who live near the Grove may leave garden rubbish in a specific place in the park, and the Council, which maintains the park, will remove the rubbish. All the gardens in the area are small and there is usually no scope for a bonfire. Now the Council wants to stop collecting the rubbish. It says it does not have a licence to perform the task. It is hard not to admire the persistance of local residents, who are still leaving their hedge clippings and weeds directly beneath the notice asking them to desist. To such a spirit of defiance do we owe our rights and freedoms from Magna Carta to the overthrow of Margaret Thatcher's poll tax.

Hurrah for the early 19th Century journalist and politician, William Cobbett, who wrote in A Grammar fo the English Language, "Confusedness in words can proceed from nothing but confusedness in the thoughts which give rise to them. These things may be of trifling importance when the actors move in private life, but when the happiness of millions of men is at stake, they are of an importance not easily to be described".

We tell children that "pitter patter" is the noise the rain makes. I'm not sure that it always does. But standing under the big oak at the corner of the Grove and listening to the summer rain falling on its branches, "pitter patter" is what I hear.

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