One of the best walks is from one of the Northern Line Edgware branch stations to another one further along the line. Today I walked from Camden to Golders Green. It's slightly uphill... all the way to Hampstead Heath. At Hampstead Heath you have the reward of sitting at the top on one of the benches by the remodelled pond. The second part of the reward is when you drop down into Golders Green and can stuff your face in one of the cafes or restaurants. My new favourite, after just one visit, is Charlie's.
But first, a poem. I think it's autumn. I start saying it's getting autumnal in June usually, but now I think it really is autumn. Sitting on a bench at the top of the Heath this evening, watching the mist forming in the hollows, smelling the slightly mouldering vegetation, I thought, it's definitely autumn.
Ah! What's that Keats poem? "To Autumn".
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Keats is not my favourite poet, but who am I to judge? He's written a nice autumn poem there... actually, he's written a nice autumn poem here, because, of course, Keats lived in Hampstead! He probably sat not far from where I was sitting this evening when he composed those lines. That really makes them all the sweeter.
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.