29 may 2001 19:28

a chapter that shocked me, writing out of doors

Bower seat, dedicated to no one, near to the Vale of Health. Under the leaves and branches - they spread about fifteen metres from the trunk of this oak tree that grows more horizontally than up. And through the trees I see the reds and yellows of the vehicles and flags of that little caravan park for fairground people - in which a hippy-like double-decker bus has appeared. There is a miniature ladder for some small animal to go in and out of it through an entrance hole about two metres above ground. And there is a chimney through its roof.

I'm calming down this evening after a busy and even exciting afternoon of finding (by chance-guided search) some favourite chapters of 'the electric book' and retyping and editing one of them them into a form suited to html - for daffodil 3 which I hope to send out in two or three days. That chapter shocked me when I wrote it (in 1986?) and it still shocks me a little because of its unexpected sexuality and violence. But I like its spontaneous fantasy - if that is the word for it. I think it's almost mythical though what it's myth might mean or imply is beyond me. I have no more need to question it than to question the trees.

Henry David Thoreau wrote somewhere that most writing is done indoors and he suggested that it might be better to write outdoors - unenclosed by walls and floors and ceilings. This bower is very much an outdoor room - that's why I came to sit here (though I'm invaded by insects) - and because of a happy memory.

So now, calmed, though irritated by a mosquito that keeps exploring my face, I'm enjoying this quiet moment of good memories and present joy.

'I want a motor-bike' shouts a boy passing - but it doesn't sound as if he expects to get one immediately.

I'm lucky that my wants are well satisfied today - some writing I like, this moment beneath trees, good news of three friends, and feeling healthy despite a multitude of ailments kept at bay by my team of advisors and by the medicines, diet and exercises they prescribe - which of course include walking here every day that I can. Yes I'm fortunate.