Monday, February 19, 2007

view to go, companions, orchestra

The lower end of Tunbridge Wells High Street, bends at a right angle, before meeting the London Road. Opposite the intersection is the site of a disused petrol station backing on to the common. The site has now been boarded up, and there are signs of imminent bulding work. As I look at the view of bare trees climbing the slope of the common above the site, I realise that soon the view will no longer exist; it will be difficult, as so often happens when new buildings are put up or old ones knocked down, even to imagine what was there or not there before. I'll enjoy it while I can.

As I walk down Mount Pleasant, I see a thick set, black mastiff negotiate pedestrians with a confident trot It seems, surprisingly, to be on its own, and it is a minute or two before I see, at some distance from the dog, a middle-aged man in an ankle-length, leather overcoat. The two, I think, can only belong together. And it is pleasing to note a minute later that in fact they do.

Yet again I find myself bemused by the sound, which the starlings make as they gather in the Grove. They sound like an orchestra tuning up before a performance, but somehow more deliberate and more practiced. I think that, if I were a composer, I would begin a symphony with chords based on their fluting and whistling.

1 comment:

Lucas said...

Which French composer was it who based many of his compositions on the songs of birds. claiming they were the greatest musicians on the planet? He was often photographed wearing a beret and I think his name began with "M".