03 August 2009

The Monday walk

Getting off the "overground" at Hampstead Heath station means passing tempting shops on the way to the heath. I resisted the urge to find a nice book for the plane journey tomorrow - finding a book is something you can do to pass the time at the airport. It wasn't just the lowering sky made me hurry - there's still lots needing to be done at home.
Past the duck pond, the swimming ponds, through the leaf-litter beech woods ... half an hour later, West Meadow, near Kenwood House - one of my favourite places, with its openness and oh-so-English trees -
... and this thistle patch - a pair of white butterflies, and the thistledown drifting in the breeze.
The world stood still.
At Kenwood House cafe, a capuccino amid the many dog-walkers. Then the 210 bus, and on with everything on that long list.

And along the way ....

Passing the duck pond, with all the kids feeding the ducks, I recollected that as a kid you'd walk along looking at the ground hoping to find some money. That was the key to wonderful things, having some spending power. As an adult, if you keep your eyes on the ground, what are you hoping to find? Money wouldn't be such a thrill any more ... what would be?

A few minutes later, travelling uphill, something blue underfoot caught my eye - a bit of pottery - more bits (even some yellow/brown slipware) - a large oyster shell - bits of water-worn glass, and broken stems of clay pipes, all the things you'd find along the Thames foreshore. Of course I made a little collection - bits of pottery the size of a fingernail.

How did they get up the hill here? My theory is that the sand of the path washes downhill, and needed replacing -- with dredging from the Thames, perhaps quite some time ago.

Several people, seeing me intently scanning the ground, asked if I'd lost something. We discussed the delights of the Heath and of London's parks, and where the bits of pottery might have come from. Even with all the blue-and-white plates and cups that must have been broken over the years, it does seem far-fetched that people would scatter bits of them high on a hill...!

1 comment:

Jeany said...

how wonderful to be peaceful and look for pottery shards...you are so lucky! i've perused your blog a long time and always come away refreshed...hello Margaret..i do so enjoy your observations/textile experiments...thank you for sharing.