online: 7 july 2005
modified: 8, 9 july 2005

6 july 2005 lively people

21:02 at the gigantic table and chair I met Oliver Ashton, a product designer (with celtic skin - freckles on his fingers) and Daniel Maxwell, acupuncturist...

Oliver pointed to the names of several people inscribed on the edge of the table. They had left a note to say that they'd climbed without ropes or hooks etc ('just strength' as they put it)... but one of the climbers, leaning over the edge of the table to write his name, and seeing it upside down, had written 'joe' to look like 'toe'...

When i showed Oliver and Daniel this diary they asked if their meeting with me here will be mentioned in it... so said yes... and here it is!

(Yes, I enjoyed talking with these two lively people, and others later.)

Then i walked to the top of Parliament Hill and was astonished by the sight of pink clouds and towers in the distance... i've seldom or never seen the city and sky look so beautiful, like a painting by Claude Lorraine...

I remarked on this to a man who was photographing it... he introduced me to his family who had come from Malaya to London for his son's graduation, in what he called biotech, or genetic engineering... 'so you're a modern magician' i said to the son, and he blushed... When i asked the father what he himself did he said laughingly 'i'm a merchant of death' (he works for a tobacco company - as an accountant)...

As we spoke the sun sank below the trees behind us and our shadow, and the shadow of the hill upon which we stood, crept southwards until the city towers became grey, as did the clouds, and the whole scene became less like Claude's paintings of ships and towers and precisely observed and imagined sunsets.

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