I’ve just returned from a provisioning trip to Sainsers, as I have Daddy visiting me this weekend. I spent an hour in the caf gazing at the astounding gasometers which were bathed in a day so balmy it felt, frankly, European. There are, as you know, few things which delight me as much as those gasometers, and I always get home with the strong feeling that I have been away on hols and perhaps just finished staring at the Taj Mahal, or Niagara, or similar. I wouldn’t be any more impressed by those things (perhaps oddly, particularly not Niagara, because that just happened by accident, whereas at least the Taj Mahal was made). Then I returned here, divested myself of the bags, and popped to the corner shoppe, during which trip my senses were assailed by the blue-green smell of leylandii; the last-night’s-cider-left-in-the-glass fug of apples over-ripe on a tree; the papery scent of spotted laurel; yew (you want to bite it: don’t bite it); rose hips; a whitebeam whose hard red berries’ scent is so familiar it is almost sensory wallpaper, like car fumes, like pavement dust or the smell of escalators; brown-paper-bag sweet chestnut leaves, given up on the year too soon; the creamy yellow fragrance of privet and the blandly congenial green aroma of birch. I think I wandered along in a stupor of scents. Then I got here and this lot dashed up and insinuated their hard, furry little heads into my hands. Outside, my washing is all dry and blinding on the line. It moves like a hippie alone on a dancefloor at 3am.
And now it is impossible to be anything other than still and quiet, to recover.
I can’t remember such a glorious day.