Saturday, 14 August 2010

A walk up a hill, a poem, a plate of pasta

I don't do sport but I am turning into someone that walks everywhere. In fact, the distances I cover are not that great, but it is very satisfying to stand in north London, look at the distant Telecom Tower and know that you will be there in a couple of hours and that you will have got there under your own steam. I'm not boasting about it, mind you. I'm recommending it as a leisure activity!

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,
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.
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.


Anonymous said...

Another one about Barnet...

This royal throne of boroughs, this sceptred suburb,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Icelandic bank disasters,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This cash machine built by Nature for us to milk.
Against infection and the hand of the slightest talent,
This happy Cabinet of nobodies, this little world,
This precious stone set on the A41, turn off at Hendon,
Which serves it in the office of an incompetent.
Or as a moat, defensive to everyone else in the borough,
especially at New Barnet and around Brent Cross,
Against the envy of less happier local authorities,—
This Blessed Plot, this Earth, this Realm,
this Barnet.

Citizen Barnet said...

Where were you sitting to pen that? In the Brent Cross car park?

Anonymous said...

It was meant to be "An Ode to Lynne Hllan and her Merry Men."

Citizen Barnet said...

I can see that. It's very well done, actually. Thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

There's only one mistake.

This cash machine built by Nature for us to milk.

should have been

This cash machine built by Nature for them to milk.