online: 18 february 2004

18 february 2004 a succession of events

On the way here I saw a blackbird. It came quite close - 2 or 3 metres.

Brick shelter. The tree in front of it has been felled to restore a view of the city. I can see the tower near Market Road - not far from where I live. The air is still at ground level this afternoon, while grey clouds move slowly southwest. The trees all look bare and dead and interesting - this could be the last week of winter.

This afternoon, after finding a book of Lorca's last plays via abebooks (a network of second hand bookshops worldwide), I found a bookshop that has it. A child answered the phone. It wasn't a wrong number - the people there sell books by internet from home - and they are only walking distance from my flat, not far from the tower I can now see in the distance.

This blending of home and work is just what I inferred would happen* when I encountered computers in the 1950s - and I like it very much. The conversation I had with the mother of the child who answered was much friendlier and more helpful than are conversations with booksellers working away from home in a specialised workplace (where their bounded role can shrink conversation to a sub-human brevity and unfriendliness). Who says the internet is not a humanising influence?

Ten people walk by in astonishing order. First: two men side-by-side (one of them on a silent electric tricycle). Then two women, also side-by-side, then two boys, then four girls. They all walked in pairs as if ordained to do so in a ritual procession but their order was I guess spontaneous. No mixing of the sexes and in an order of precedence. Is that good? I doubt it.

A robin, who was singing loudly and piercingly when I arrived, has just hopped past me at about 2 metres away. And now its mate flies past as fast as it can go. I have been sitting here for about 40 minutes and the light is going. I decide to walk back to the station... The robin is perched on a branch and singing intermittently. That is life for all of us - a succession of small events of no significance in themselves - until we think about them. Just this, and this, and this, for bird or for human.

*the internet and everyone, page 100.

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