Monday, 25 May 2009


I saw visions today.

I think I saw an angel.

A man lying on his back in the grass, and the sunlight caught the grass so that it shone and glittered with gold, like a halo.

Willow trees shimmering like gold leaf, so thin you can move it with your breath.

A pale blue sky with broken clouds that seemed to recede as I ran towards them (though I know, really, it was only an optical illusion caused by my more rapid progress towards a tall chestnut tree).

And last night, coming back home about ten as the sun fell, a pair of paper hot air balloons rising into the sky (itself just that rich purple velvet before full darkness comes), the tealights making them glow richly as they swooped upwards, taking the light breeze to the west.

I'd been wondering today, after reading Tracy Chevalier's Burning bright and blogging about the Blake exhibition at the Tate, how William Blake could see the 'chartered streets' of London as angels.

And now I know.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Colours of English May

The colour of May is white.

Drifts of poplar or willow fuzz on the grass by the river Wensum, like a late snowfall. The white of hawthorn blossom in the hedges, with its heavy smell, like lily scent with an undertone of sex or decaying fish. Cowparsley, with its tight heads of off-white flowers, already a yard high.

The daffodils are gone, their heads drying into faint brown ghosts of flowers. All the vivid colour of March has disappeared, and there are only scatterings of white like confetti at a spring wedding.