Which left me at Paddington at 8.05 am, wondering how to fill the day, and reluctant to simply return home immediately as it was rush hour.
I went on to Hammersmith, wandered down King Street to Chiswick, had a coffee and a conversation with the blind man who was pointed to my small table as one of the only seats available, then went on to the nearest bookshop to browse for at least an hour, reading bits of Jan Morris's Spain, first published during the Franco years (I lived in Menorca in 1972-3) and ...uh-oh... buying How to Read Water, which I've been eyeing for a while (it's got info on polynesian "maps"). On to Chiswick House for a spot of lunch and to make a start on reading water, well the book anyway, and home about 3, avoiding rush hour, to tackle sundry chores from the little list I compiled earlier in the week.
So it was a slightly "different" day: unexpected, and not really satisfying because of the abandoned plan lurking in the back of my mind. Another time this unsettling sort of thing happens is when an appointment suddenly falls through, and you have an hour or two of empty time - nothing particular to do, and you're in a place where it's hard to decide what you "should" be doing instead. And isn't that the problem - the "should"-ness of the everyday, the need to accomplish some planned thing ... today it was great to be able to just wander down a new-to-me street and look at shops and people and divert down sideroads and decide which coffee shop might be congenial - though you do take your chances there! - and simply to divest yourself of should-ness and do some open-ended "living" instead.
Right, that's an everyday everyday, so let's find something from 10 years ago, exactly 10 years ago. We'd been to Burnham Beeches - " An ancient woodland, with a moated area, Hardicanute's (Harding's) Moat, surrounding an ancient settlement (12th-14th century)" -
We went back a few more times, in later years and different seasons - a lovely place for short walks, but there was no cafe....
Ten years ago we went to car boot sales regularly - finding strange pictures and amusing objects for the "conservatory collection" and photographing some of the interesting ones that had to be left behind, like this bit of wildlife -