Thursday, 31 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 10am

Trees roar and shake in the wind. The park is all alive, every fibre stretched, eyes wild and thrilled. At any moment, it might break free and fly across town.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 11am

The park is like an invalid lying in the sun, able to ignore the chill because it is tucked under a blanket. For everyone else, life goes on as usual.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 3pm

Under flat light the park has settled into the background . It is less real than the children on the swings, and the starlings' hard notes that fall from a tree.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Claremont Road, clockwise. 10.15am

The mist has now lifted and the frost is melting in the sun. Drops hang shining from the all the smallest branches and the park is crossed with long shadows.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 4.15pm

The sun has left the park, but families crowd in with scooters and prams and tricycles. Although we are in shadow, the sun shines on a plane high above us.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Belgrove, clockwise. 9am.

Only the gentle snowdrops and the tall shoots of daffodil are willing to stand vigil in the last weeks of winter. Deathbed compassion through the long nights and cold days.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Birdcage Walk, anticlockwise. 2.30pm

Trees stretch out their bare branches to grab as much blue sky as they can, and all the roofs seem to uncrinkle to let the sunshine into the houses below.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Belgrove, clockwise. 4.30pm.

'Put it back.'
'You put it back.'
'You pulled it.'
'You thought of it.'
Boys argue: a string of dog bag bunting runs from the box to a lamp post.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Claremont Road, clockwise. 2.45pm

Stiff-legged babies hang in the swings absorbing the world, while their mothers talk to each other and give guilty pushes when they remember what they think they should be doing.

Monday, 21 January 2008

South Grove, clockwise. 11am.

A crow caws away overhead. It might be fortelling doom, or remarking on the weather, or it might be sharing wisdom to change my life if only I understood.

Friday, 18 January 2008

South Grove, clockwise. 2pm.

Woodsmoke hangs around the houses at the edge of the park on a damp day. It fills my nose and makes me think of tar and steam rising off coats.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 8pm

Mars watches unblinking from the top of the sky as we circle the park. Our moon watches too, and its light picks out tatters of cloud blowing across the sky.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 3pm

A boy not yet five wears a knight's helmet and a cloak, carries a plastic sword and rides a hobby horse. His mother dutifully makes clip-clop sounds behind him.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 3pm

The bare trees and the rise and fall of the ground under the thining winter grass make the park seem like a person asleep in public with their real face revealed.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Belgrove, clockwise. 12.30pm.

I imagine myself in a squirrel's dray with my squirrel tail wrapped around my nose and some squirrel friends curled around me and a stormy night outside shaking the tree.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Claremont Road, clockwise. 10.15am

A girl stands and stares at a birch tree as if she expects it to do something wonderful like burst into leaf or into song. Her friend cycles on uninterested.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 4.30pm

Water chuckles in the gutters and then tumbles into the drains, its voice deepening and echoing. Rain drips off the eaves and from the trees and splats on the ground.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Belgrove, clockwise. 11am.

I pass two ladies who are talking: 'Lots of wildlife today. Mostly squirrels. And birds.' 'I saw a fox.' 'A fox?' 'Yes'. And the rest of their conversation is lost.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Claremont Road, anticlockwise. 3pm

Walking into the warm winter sunshine at the top of the hill seems like a treat. I wish I'd gone the other way and saved it till the end.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Grove Avenue, clockwise. 11am.

Starlings are arranged in the trees. They remind me of commuters waiting for a train. Perhaps they are waiting patiently for the 1108 gust to carry them off and away across the rooftops.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Claremont Road, clockwise. 11.30am

'She can't understand how something can go behind a tree and disappear. She's bewitched.' The terrier stares at the tree for a moment, and then checks behind it again.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Claremont Road, clockwise. 7pm

We hurry from light to light, and talk about the lamp posts -- why this stands so far from the path; why they have removed that one. Perhaps nothing exists but lamps

Friday, 4 January 2008

Meadow Hill Road, clockwise. 9am.

The park was wounded when the paths were mended. It heals slowly in winter; but rain and frost have broken the churned earth, and soon grass will cover the scars.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Belgrove, anticlockwise. 12noon.

There is a triangle of snow to the windward side of every tree. There is a triangle of snow blowing into my coat. I'm cold. I want to go home.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Buckingham Road, anticlockwise. 8am.

The grass is muddy and the light is bad. Nothing is certain except tree tops inked black against the grey sky; and the clash of the gardeners' spades hitting paths.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Southerland Road, 3.30pm. Clockwise.

Tight-bound buds on a beech tree look as if they have been sculpted from their branches by months of incessant wind, like ripples in sand on a fossilised beach.