Summer is having a late flowering here in the UK with sunny warm days, even today, a Bank Holiday, normally an appeal the heavy rain gods can’t resist. Across the pond, Hurricane Harvey, who sounds suspiciously like a particularly driven snooker champion, has brought heavy rain to Houston. It’s all very alliterative. The electricity is still working, as is the internet. I know this as I have been exchanging emails with my friend Sue who loves in Houston. I gather she is holed up with dog, cat and a load of junk food she bought for a poker game that had to be cancelled. I have just finished rereading Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver, so these indications of climate crisis and how determined some of us are to ignore or dismiss how our behaviours are contributing to extremes of weather feels very pertinent.
Yesterday Celia and I met up for a walk around a near neighbourhood we don’t know followed by lunch at Dulwich Picture Gallery and a visit to the exhibition of watercolours by John Singer Sargent. They are amazing. I didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t this. Go if you can. My work today took me to Greenwich. On the bus back there people on their way to carnival at Notting Hill. There was a strong feeling of London being on holiday, but of course Notting Hill Carnival is in the shadow of Grenfell Tower, and the survivors and victims of that horror have been remembered and respected in this year’s carnival. Joy and sorrow coexist. Human beings are remarkable in being able to feel more than one emotion at a time.
I’m wondering if I can get back to das Boot on Sunday. If the warm weather persists I shall certainly try. On Wednesday I am heading for chatham for the day, so before I fill my camera with pictures of dockyards and Dickens memorabilia, i think I should share some of the photographs i took when I was last east.