Saturday, July 03, 2010

pigeon, horsetail, beautiful

Posted by Picasa When you sit in our garden in the evening, if you  raise your eyes you can usually see a pigeon, its breast already slightly pink, made rosier by the setting sun.

The very sight of horsetail (Equisetum arvense), used to chill me to the bone when it showed its  feathery, aerial shoots above ground on an allotment which I once ran. It was established before I arrived and remained defiantly in charge when I left. It is the most persistent of weeds, worse than ground-elder, far worse than buttercups. Its roots and creeping underground stems grow several feet deep; and the smallest fragments of them generate new plants. Yet seen from the train today, drifts of it by the railway line have the texture of brushed silk and catch the light like emerald green cushions.

In the Oxfam Bookshop, which is on my regular beat, I find Clare Grant, inventor of  the Three Beautiful Things approach to blog-writing. She is encouraging people to note beautiful things on bookmarks, which she is handing out for the purpose. She did something similar in the Public Library a few months ago, and should make a habit of it.  She points  to  a shelf where her choice of books  from the shop's basement store are displayed at her request. They include the six volume Penguin edition of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. "I think that he  is the right author for three beautiful things  He would understand them, " she says. She has read How Proust Can Change your Life by Alain de Botton, which is also displayed at her request, and will one day, she says, read Marcel himself.


Sarah Salway said...

I agree - Clare should do it much much more. I went along and smiled for the rest of the afternoon.
Enjoy this blog a lot, not least because there are things I recognise here!

Lucy said...

So the mystery of your identity is at last revealed at the Oxfam shop!

Wish I'd been there.

Unknown said...

Sorry I missed you Sarah. It might have been a party!

Lucy Wish you had too. It would have been a party.