Friday again already. Unbelievable. The week has flown by. The opera was great last Saturday, both music and venue, both of which got good reviews in The Guardian. And that’s not even starting on the good company. Celia and I hatched a last minute plan to go walking on Sunday. We plumped for a walk we have done several times which takes in the cemetery where my great grandmother and Lewis Carol are buried, views across to Guildford cathedral, farmland, woodland, Watts Gallery, uphills and downhills, horses in fields, a country pile, a lake, the river Wey, and, most importantly for this time of year, blackberries.
We ended at a pub which used to be called the Jolly Farmer and is now I think called The Weyside, drank our half pints of cider, shared a packet of crisps, and got the train back to London. It was good. Monday, being a bank holiday, was grey and dull. I felt no regrets about getting on with paperwork. Work on Tuesday, and suddenly it’s Friday again. Michèle lent me a book called The Port of London Murders by Josephine Bell. It was published in 1938 and has been republished as part of the British Library Crime Classics series. After Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, the change of style took a few chapters for me to find the rhythm. There was quite a lot of ‘ere, and, laarst, to conjure the accents of the Rotherhithe community. At first this grated, but I got over it and would happily read more by her. However, although Michèle lent me two further books from the series they are both by different writers, both new to me. I am just embarking on Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert. For fans of detective fiction, this series is a goldmine.
Celia and I hope to achieve more walks this autumn, but this weekend as we both have commitments it looks like our walk will be a shorter one and closer to home. Yesterday, B&J interrupted my labours to ask if I’d like to join them on an outing north of the river. I did. We went to Golders Hill Park, another place new to me. It was delightful. There is a small collection of animals, including deer, ring tailed lemurs, donkeys and kookaburras. There was also vegan ice cream on sale. And suddenly summer has made a reappearance. It has been so autumnal in recent weeks, just the odd day of vaguely season appropriate weather, that summer has seemed like a distant memory. The colours are all wrong though. Because of the heavy rainfall we have had this year, everything is lush and green when it should be looking past it’s best, turning towards autumn shades.
It’ll be lovely if we get an Indian summer, as we so often do, but already our long light evenings are not so long, and it’s not hard to imagine walking up to dark mornings, and having to turn the lights on as the afternoon turns to evening. Thank goodness for blackberries and all the other fruits and foods of this season which compensate for prospect of winter.
Stay safe. Keep well.