online: 27 june 2004
modified: 27 june 2004

26 june 2004 this half-contrived wilderness

13:44 Indoor cafe at Kenwood. Driven inside by rain...

Today I feel that I've come to a turning point... to continue such unitary activities as writing this, as a rightful priority, and to cease to give thought and energy to activities for which I lack sufficient time or social support,.. To attend to one activity at a time (as if it were my last?) and thus to throw off the burden of all the others. No more lists (except to choose ONE action when I complete, or abandon, the last activity)...?

But the sound of many conversations, reflected from hard surfaces, irritates and takes my attention - so I pause, just to listen to this sound and to look about...

...As soon as I began looking at the people here (many look old, wealthy, and fit) the sound ceases to distract or to irritate - but nevertheless I decide to go outside again and to continue writing there.

14:25 Beneath an oak tree (which is enough to keep slight rain from the handheld) and I'm glad indeed to be amongst plants and birds in this half-contrived wilderness... I walked here along a tree-roofed avenue, glad of its semi-natural architecture, listened to a blackbird's song, and noticed that the grass has grown about 30 centimetres since I last walked this way... And now I'm sitting on the roots of this oak and looking at foxgloves growing in a fenced-off area of swamp and vegetation nearby.

All is still around me except for a slight swaying of the long branches of the oak and a bee hovering beneath them. Outside the tree, pinkish grasses sway in the breeze... I get up to walk closer to the fenced-off wild plants.

Standing at the fence I see that they are indeed foxgloves, hundreds of them, some purple, some white, and many other plants that grow in marshy soil - dock leaves, brambles, rushes, ferns, and others I don't know the names of.

I stopped again to examine a new ash tree, a little shorter than myself, counted its 30 or so sprays of leaves, and felt the stiffness of its fibrous stalk or trunk. It was growing wild beneath some birch trees - where little oaks are also growing. The oaks seem hard rather than stiff.

17:25 Panorama path. I see smoke in the distance - it looks as if a tall building in west London is on fire . Could it be terrorism? A cloud of smoke 3 times its height is moving southwest... I see no flames.

From a different viewpoint I see that the smoke is not coming from the tall building but from some way beyond it... When I get to a radio I hear that the fire is from a school in south London - some kilometres from where I imagined it to be, in Chelsea... I look at a map of Hampstead Heath and realise that I have been misjudging directions by about 30 degrees.

18:23 It will have taken me about 5 hours to make that trip, to edit the result, and to transfer it to the website. A day's work?... No, it's more like play... my 'rightful priority'!

(these pages are designed to be read with the window set to two-thirds of the screen width)

what's new


digital diary archive

daffodil email newsletter

© 2002, 2003 john chris jones

You may transmit this text to anyone for any non-commercial purpose if you include the copyright line and this notice and if you respect the copyright of quotations.

If you wish to reproduce any of this text commercially please send a copyright permission request to jcj at