This week I have mostly been reading: From Russia With Love. I was not sure that I had read any Bond so it was fascinating to go back to the original text for the world’s most famous spy bar none. Literary antecedents, Bulldog Drummond and John Buchan’s Richard Hannay,obviously, but also Graham Greene’s Third Man (which gets a name check) and Stamboul Train and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. The train on which 007 fights for his life (and that of the free world) in an alpine tunnel is as much a literary salon as a heritage transport experience.… More
Blistering Barnacles. I nearly got away with it. A clean escape from the fog of guilt and grief and doubt that is the writer’s daily bread, this one at any rate. I could breathe at last, before me the estuary spread out at my feet – a clear corridor through twin banks of cloud over Kent and Essex. Above cirrus rippling like a stone dropped into a pond. My unchained mind following the ripples out across the salt marsh and creek and tiny craft and slow gliding ships and power station chimneys.… More
“Sweet Chestnut is used for the basic treatment of desperation, mental anguish, extreme depression, acute hopelessness, extreme spiritual suffering, and mental or physical breakdown …”
… at least according to that other kind of chestnut (hoary,old) and esoteric money spinner, the Bach Flower Therapy, but that wasn’t the reason I set out for Greenwich Park in yesterday’s autumn sunshine. Although I had come to join in a harvest of sorts.
I was not the only pilgrim in the park.… More
Dear Harry & Elinor,
crossed the border today & visited the Rose Garden. Do you remember the cloisters? It’s fantastic – and the locals are still friendly (providing you dress down & don’t stare at them). In the afternoon I did a circuit via Aldenham etc. Took photos rather than sketched. Plus ça change. Long hedgerow of hawthorne caught low Autumn sun and the haws lit up like landing lights. Then I realized they were landing lights.… More
Woodsmoke and limes. A strange thing to note down considering the lower Lea valley has changed beyond recognition since I last walked this way in the first weeks of the New Thatcher experiment. Now the ODC has turned the river, like an olympic gymnast, on its head. The grave is at the bottom. Apartments and studio flats spread out along the tow path from Limehouse like colonising triffids. Each property boasts 2.4 Moorhens, 10 cubic centimetres of abbatoir greased polyethylene and a view over a cordon sanitaire into a pre-abandoned future.… More