Marking time

Flat rectangular espaliers trap trees onto music stands, their brown leaves notes.

Morning sun reveals green fur on the temporary structures of the construction site. Green psoriasis proves that the new roof on the design museum is copper.

The Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is forbidden to dogs. Because forbidden, I peer over the hedge when we pass, noting the progress of peacock spots, my ears attuned to the waterfall splash. Yet I never go in should I pass dog-less.

The water rushes. Dogless would I rush past the garden. Yesterday a tour guide told us about rushlights. Boys running ahead of carriages to light the way in the dark streets. One had to be careful of which boys to hire, as rushlight gangs would lead a carriage into a dark dead-end, overturn the carriage and rob the occupants. Rushlights were snuffed in metal cones attached to iron railings. Boys rushing with rushlights. And delight rushes away when I learn that the plant’s etymology is German while the verb’s is French/Latin.

The same guide tells us that Sunday, February 2, is halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox, that the service to celebrate this is Candlemas, and if Candlemas morning is sunny, then winter will linger (meaning more chilly rain). The Brits in his audience look ruefully at the sun slanting down into our street.