4 October 2001 happy lives

16:29: Seat overlooking valley. Windy day but calm just here. Tall cumulus clouds, blue sky through a layer of mare's tails. The routine of passenger planes returning (about one a minute) is restored - despite the reduction of flying since the attack.

Now a tall woman in navy blue appears with three nearly identical small boys in nearly identical navy clothes. They all four shout and laugh as the boys run down the steep slope. They look as if they live happy lives. I imagine the boys are triplets. I'm amazed to see how many twin prams or buggies there are now (I've already seen one today) and now triplets - if that is what these are? Perhaps the unintended effect of fertility treatment? Biotech is already a fact - the debate is too late! And there's no great harm done, as yet.

One of the things that attracts me to this spot is the worn grass, and the bare earth with pebbles, along the edge of the slope. It reminds me of bare earth and kind of short grass that gets worn away at the seaside. It calls me to walk on bare feet and to let go of formality - but I don't do it. I remember such grass between the houses and the sea at Borth (before my father, as county councillor, got it concreted over by a sea defence wall). Before that you could run straight out from the houses and over the grass to the beach. All my memories of Borth are like that - the semi-wild haven (or was it heaven?) of my childhood.

But here I am now in London, three days off seventy-four, still enjoying those times, but enjoying this also, this worn grass, this quiet evening, those boys and their laughter, and of course these trees without which or whom I would not come here so often. Not to forget the handheld - the first (of the six computers I have been driven to buy) that is small enough, and intelligent enough, to permit such writing.

Parliament Hill. The air over London is clear today. I can see over the Dome (a few miles away) to the low hills beyond. Usually in mist or smog. And the clouds above the city look so calm and so soft this evening. Layers of grey-blue against cream and greeny-yellow slits of sky... But now I go to the train.