this too
Monday, May 09, 2005

Sunday morning: eyes stuck shut - world, please go away. I’m expected in Cambridge. I could just stay in, but I doubt it would be restful. Tired, depressed days doing nothing usually are not.

Sunday afternoon: walking from Cambridge to Grantchester. The grass is high, the buttercups and cow parsley, too - they and the hawthorne hedges in full flower. Brilliant sunshine alternates with black skies and thunder, lightning, hail – but all over in 5 minutes. Everything damp, even lusher, the aroma even headier. The river slopping over its banks where it meanders through the green and dripping fields. A few intrepid souls out boating in the rain. Mostly just me stomping through the grass, alternately wetted around my waterproofs and baked dry by blazing sun. Walking fast, getting up a rhythm, getting warm. I’m to meet friends later and am not sure how long this walk takes.

Sunday evening: reading on the train back to London – Tolstoy’s Resurrection (thank you Richard). Transported to another time, through a timelessly lucid, observant, uncompromising mind. Propping my eyes open to go on reading it in bed, although tired now from the exercise – differently tired from this morning.

Not exactly happier, but anchored, fed.
That view brings back memories! I (mis)spent many a happy hour punting along that stretch of the Cam in the days of my youth. And happily discovered a couple of years back that punting, like riding a bicycle, is a skill which once mastered is never forgotten.
Really? I always want to shout at tourists what they are doing wrong (haven't got the pole perpendicular usually), but haven't had a go myself for years - I must.
Now that's an England I love! What a scene. Is that Queene Anne's Lace?
...and ... I mean "Queen" without the "e" at the end. Just as I am Tamar without the "a" at the end...
I don't think it's Queen Anne's Lace - too tall and straggly. But it may not be Cow Parsley either. There are lots of similar plants which are much confused (more excusably than ducks and geese).

I never thought of Tamar being Tamara without the 'a'. I know another Tamar, from Israel, but no Tamaras.
In America, people are always adding an "a" to the end of my name!
Jean -- And thank you for the link. What a beautiful photo of the Cam, with prose to match! I could get lost in it for a long time. This is the England I idealize, and it's stirring to know that some of it is still physically there.

I'm coming to your blog after a few days away and am struck anew by the very high quality of the photographs throughout -- those Thames geese, the Crystal Palace (is that sepia one yours? -- forgive an ignorant Yank), and more.
Richard, all photos except those of dead or famous people (and sheep) are by me. Sepia effect is very easy with digital photos and probably something 'real photographers' deride, but I like it for some subjects - black and white feels to me colder on screen than in print.
Interesting. From the picture, I had identified the plants you list before I read a word. And perhaps some marsh marigold in the background as well? THey are not very different in many ways, your world and mine, oceans apart.
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Freelance copy-editor and translator. Keen on language, literature, photography, art, music, buddhist meditation and the countryside.

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