online: 10 august 2002

10 august 2002 yes yes we are changing

19:05: Parliament hill, after heavy rain. What an evening in the sunlight, a vast thunder cloud over east London, blue sky above us, and such clear air to the east and south that I can see objects twenty kilometres away... unusual.

Coming here whenever I wish by a ten minute train ride is like a holiday three or four times a week. And this evening the city is so quiet - as I walked up the hill beneath trees I could hardly hear any traffic sound - more the hush of a country place (but surrounded by city).

I can't think of a better place to be, despite problems, if that is what they are - high rent (soon to be increased again with the steep rise in house prices) - gang warfare between teenagers on motor scooters and others in a car that rode all over the road and pavements around me, trying to ram the scooters, which then tried to ram the car... at that point I went home.

...but I long ago realised that release from the repression of the old technology would lead to public violence, probably before the beneficial consequences of the new technology can be discovered and adapted to... These are not things to fear or to deplore but a culture change to witness, to experience, to partake in, and to help create and make sense of... and to escape when it's too expensive or too dangerous - but remembering it is us.

But here, for the moment, this city is a place to enjoy - as many do on this hilltop as they stop to look - and some try to identify the larger buildings, the new skyscrapers at Canary Wharf, the NatWest tower, the dome of St Paul's - and the London Eye if you can spot it behind the trees. There's a picture of the view engraved in stainless steel with the main buildings named.

On a seat in front of me a woman rested her head on the lap of a man and on a seat to my left a woman rested her head on the lap of a woman. I like making these non-judgmental statements in words of few syllables and without adjectives.

Now a huge blue and gold cloud has moved between us and the sun, the air already feels colder at the approach of autumn, and I feel like walking further before it gets dark... yes I did, and I ate a few blackberries.

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© 2002 john chris jones

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