Day 51 June 7

I am off to visit my elderly friend near Summerfield Woods who enjoys a good old natter from the kitchen door. On the passageway leading to London Rd, I hadn’t noticed the sign before: “Please stop stealing our plants. The garden centres are now open… Buy your own!” There has always been a congregation of flowering and edible plants growing in varying pot sizes along here, just as there has always been a smattering of opportunists who don’t think of anybody else’s needs but their own. Sad but true.

Kings Rd has more shops open: the refill store; a bric a brac shop or two, but few people are out. It is more like a traditional Sunday when a day of rest was the norm. Or perhaps they’ve migrated up to London for the peaceful protests. 

The courtyard in front of Warrior Square station is deserted. I love the signs that have no current purpose: OUT when nothing actually went in. Like those Spaghetti Western towns where dried bush rattles in the wind across an empty square and a sense of unease is in the air.

Lockdown may be easing but maybe people are not easy. Not yet. 

Across the bridge and two chairs sit as if at a tea party close up to the litter bin, who speaks rubbish at them through his big mouth. Up Southwater Rd household rubbish has taken on a new meaning: mattresses, bed frames, old computer desk, bags of garden waste spilling out of thin black bin bags jumbled up against walls. A sudden overwhelming thought hits me: all the families and individuals in their private burrows, in their private heads with their own opinions.

How can we ever agree?

I look up and a tree like a giant totem pole rises above it all.

Along the way there are always new things to wonder at. A flaming bush spilling over the wall, the top of the church gateway, like a pyramid hinting at wisdom and solidarity; and a meadow, the same meadow as before, but now with foxgloves and thicker grass. In the wood the trees watch warily as I pass on dusty paths.