Day 27 April 30

It is chilly and gusty but the sun is out. Through the park the spring blossoms are looking a little battered but the light is sharp and the contrast of tree shadow on grass jumps out at you like a 3D image. With my phone camera any attempt to capture it is hopeless. The lens of memory is best in these cases. 

On up Maze Hill and past the flowering cherry, whose starry petals, herded by the wind, have thickly coated the gutter. It makes me think of a favourite Oscar Wilde quote: “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.” My brother had it on a fridge magnet which, after he died I placed on my fridge. His life wasn’t easy but he had a quirky way with him that endeared him to many. He owned nothing but papers of all sorts, the skin he inhabited, the magnet and 3 pieces of nice pine furniture bought from redundancy money. 

I walk on into the alley, past fading bluebells comfrey, cow parsley and fallen branches, some pieces of which I take for my fire. I am happiest here, doing this. Then the long patch of wild garlic. I ask, in a manner of speaking, if it’s okay to take some, but it is so dense I know the 50gms or so I need to make my soup won’t be missed.

As I walk, like a country person from long ago, one of my favourite folk songs, Linden Lea, pops into my head. Written in the mid eighteen hundreds, the poet expresses his sheer delight in the countryside and ardently states that other men may make money faster in dark-roomed towns, but he is free to walk about in his domain, rich with the fruits of Nature.

I know how he feels. The soup was a great success!