online: 11 december 2003
modified: 10 december 2003

5 december 2003 they came to a city

17:18 words written on paper today (at the outdoor cafe and walking)
followed by notes written afterwards

crows lifting turf
strange: a hundred or so crows - each pecking and tugging to lift pieces of turf - up to 15 cm square - the field looks as if it has been harrowed

a russian waiter
he is here for a few months to learn English (my English very bad, very bad, he says)

news today - call centre offshoring attains public awareness
call centres for British train inquiries move to India - globalised service industry becomes front page news

a struggle to complete daffodil 25
it took me a week of gradual crafting of hasty notes

nearly stayed in bed today - amazed to be feeling lively now and walking faster than usual

where are the people? I am almost the only one here in the outdoor cafe

a lone crow flying north over the level playing field this is almost like fiction

a man from Sweden asks the way
I advise him to follow the road and to ask again when lost

from horticulture to process engineering
he told me he'd qualified in horticulture and changed in mid life to chemical engineering

I met him again at just the point where he became lost so he asked me again and I walked with him to the place he was seeking - we talked of many things

thanks a million
he said as we parted

the nearly full moon seen through trees in the last daylight

crossing a field alone in the dusk

much renewed by this experience
a ritual of earth and cosmos and humanity

at edge of the dark wood
that reminds me of Dante:

Midway life's journey I was made aware
That I had strayed into a dark forest*

approaching Parliament Hill

people silhouetted on the horizon - and I can see the tops of the trees growing beyond it
which looks mysterious, as if one is looking at a stage set

suddenly the city lights are visible as I cross the horizon

they came to a city
the play by J B Priestley** (his utopia) that I remember seeing in childhood. I am often reminded of it.

**Today I find that used copies of the edition published by Heinemann, London 1943, are available at .

*the opening words of Dante's Inferno, in Dante, The Divine Comedy, translated by Laurence Binyon, Agenda Editions, London 1979, page 3.
His peace of mind, matter and soul ... is our lost paradise.

Paolo Milano, in the introduction, page xxxix.

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