Monday, April 20, 2020
Bathed in Pink Light
Here's an indication of my current state of mind: I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Monday.
I decided to try a new-ish dog walk and shake up our routines. I took Olga north to Childs Hill Park, and then rather than going west from there toward the Clitterhouse Playing Fields, we went east toward Golders Hill Park and the West Heath. That probably doesn't mean a whole lot to you, but it's something we've never done and it turned out to be a nice almost five-mile walk.
On the West Heath we came across these trees with fresh pink leaves. One of them is the Lulu tree. I'm not sure what kind of trees they are -- beech, maybe? -- but standing underneath them felt like being beneath a pink glass cloche. They eventually turn a hardy green, and then yellow in the fall.
When we passed the little zoo in Golders Hill Park, Olga went on red-alert at the sight of a wallaby. Can't you just see her thinking, "What the heck IS that thing?!" She nearly jumped out of her skin when it energetically bounded away.
We saw several signs created as a tribute to the National Health Service. The rainbow has become a symbol of encouragement and thanks during this virus crisis -- I guess the idea is, after a storm, there's often a rainbow.
This curious-looking creature was suspended from a fence with a sign: "Cover up: Keep yourself safe. Keep others safe. That will help keep the NHS safe. Thank you everyone"
(For the record, the British government has so far stopped short of recommending masks for the general public, even after the CDC and authorities in some other countries have suggested them. The London mayor has asked that we wear a cloth mask when out in public in places where social distancing is impossible. Fortunately, I've been able to maintain distance almost everywhere. The grocery store and a narrow footpath near the cemetery are my only tricky spots.)
Back home again, I lay in the sun on a blanket in the back garden and read more of "City on Fire," which as I've said previously is about New York City in 1977.
A few days ago, I quoted a couple of sentences from the book. Here's another passage I liked: "It seemed impossible to believe he'd chosen to live here, at a latitude where spring was a semantic variation on winter, in a grid whose rigid geometry only a Greek or a builder of prisons could love, in a city that made its own gravy when it rained. Taxis continued to stream toward the tunnel, like the damned toward a Boschian hellmouth. Screaming people staggered past below. Impossible, that he now footed the rent entire, two hundred bucks monthly for the privilege of pressing his cheek to the window and still not being able to see spectacular Midtown views. Impossible, that the cinderblock planter on the fire escape could ever have produced flowers."