There was music from someone's window, the house on the corner; I could see someone inside. And two men were unloading a gas cooker from a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Near pond 1 there was a man looking closely at a London street map. A woman stood close to him while she rearranged her hair (by feel, without seeing it). That done, she leant even closer to see what he was looking at. An older woman went by and looked me up and down ('not him' I imagined her thinking). An older man looked at me sharply - was he looking to see if I was looking at the woman beside him? A young man was attending to a small child - there was a Shakespeare play in the buggy. And half-naked woman was sitting in the sun to read an intelligent-looking book. And a woman was feeding a baby from a bottle.
This is our civilisation and it's not bad... What if today was the last day of it?
A low-flying jumbo of British Airways climbs slowly and noisily into the grey but sunny sky... 2 minutes later another one passes, flying slightly higher. Today they are taking off towards the east.
...but my thoughts go to two older women who are sitting together affectionately - they seem to be looking at a handheld computer and writing on it, just as I am... A young man wanders about this little glade - he seems to be blowing at something, perhaps it is a dandelion clock? A young woman walks about also. She gazes at a pine tree and then leans against it. Does this spot attract those who have something to think about? The two women with a handheld are now conversing and gesturing seriously about some shared interest... a flax-like seed sails down towards the earth and it touches my shoe before it lands.
An added memory: in the outdoor cafe I eat a piece of orange sponge cake and drink water. A man at the same table tells me that his dog, a large black collie of mixed breed, can understand syntax. His baby sleeps in a buggy and a smiling woman arrives with a meal to share between the two of them. She also brings several little cartons of cream or milk which he feeds to the intelligent dog!
On my way back I find a large blackberry bush full of ripe berries with no signs of anyone else having picked any. I empty my plastic bottle and quickly fill it with big ones.... then I sit down to read some pages of John Cowper Powys writing about pre-Celtic Welshness. As I read I hear a female voice speaking English in the gentle accent of South Wales, or of Mid. I think it is this self-evasive rhythm that he is writing of, and its word order. These he sees as pre-Celtic. I copy out something he wrote*:
...what we call expression or intonation is the essence of any human language.
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