Thursday, 23 February 2012

Top of the hill, top of the world

Scribblings on a summer afternoon:

I am sat on a bench at the top of the hill in Brockwell Park. As long as this view is here and there is a bench or patch of grass from me to sit on, all will be well with the world.
A young couple just walked past. She was about two heads shorter than him and had her arm around his waist. His was wrapped around her shoulders.

"So, that's pretty much all the best things you can do in Brixton during the day." he said, "tonight I'll take you to some of the pubs." (Am I the only person who can't help but listen to other people's conversations? I find them fascinating.)

In the time it took me to write that they have crossed the grass and I can spot them walking away down the hill. They are holding hands now.
I am sat here in shorts, tights and just a shirt and cardigan. Yesterday was one of the coldest days of the year. Today is one of the warmest.

It is half past four and the sun is nearly setting. Everything looks golden, apart from the sky which is still a dusty blue.
There is a kite trapped in the top branches of the tree opposite me. It is black and yellow and has painted eyes that are staring out at the view whilst its ribbon arms reach out as if to touch the horizon.
At the foot of the hill is the low brick shape of Brockwell Lido, two blocks of flats, and behind them rows of neat terraced houses. But behind that, London explodes. Right in the distance I can see the City - the buildings shooting up and down like an unsteady graph.
I love London parks. This feels like my garden, but it is also comforting to know that I am sharing it with so many other people.
Behind me there is a threadbare football pitch and I can hear the boys playing and laughing and scuffing their shoes. Someone is flying a remote controlled aeroplane near them. It sounds like a strange bee.
Reluctantly I have put my coat back on. It is getting colder now. It will soon be time to come down from the hill and go home.

Two guys just sped past me on skateboards. I just saw a parakeet fly through the sky. A dart of lime green and then it was gone. I heard the park keepers talking about them the other day so I know I didn't imagine it. I expect they have escaped from a zoo or someone's home. Well, wouldn't you fly here?
You would think that I made this all up.


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