So I'm out for five hours this morning, and my haul includes:
1. A tiny glade of grass next to the Metro between Jesmond and West Jesmond: surrounded by trees and undergrowth, and covered with beer cans, but definitely a glade.
2. A moment spent with two former colleagues over coffee in Starbucks. They were about to present a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund: Seven Stories want to create something of an oral history of Children's Literature, contextualising the books within the life stories of their readers. Francis Spufford tried something similar in his fine memoir The Child That Books Built. But this sounds like it's on a different scale. Warm and brilliant. I hope the HLF buy it.
3. A female thrush, no more than two feet away, at waist height, still for a second or two. I said 'Hello matey' and she flew back into cover.
4. The brick underarch of a Metro Bridge, from above. Roadworks had uncovered it beneath a foot of tarmac and rubble. It rose, counter to the camber, unseen perhaps for fifty years or more. Something spiritual about the way it shaped the space beneath into a hump. Brickwork can feel soft, flank-like.
5. A yellow rose bursting out of a laurel bush.
6. A realisation: how each found object I speak of stands in place of the warmth I feel for the people I am passing. I wonder why I don't speak of them instead?
7. As I plan to copy a Google-book into Word, typing - a Herculean task my guilt at the dubious legitimacy of which is only mitigated by my knowledge that the Publishers are sat on a stash of thirty hardbacks, at extortionate price, and are unlikely to reprint in paperback until they've sold the rest - a memory of my primary school teacher, Mr Preston, who used to spend his afternoons copying William stories one by one, by hand, on to Banda sheets, for comprehension tests. Mr Preston merits a blog post (at least one), so I won't say any more about him here.
8. A modicum of mellowness.
9. Time a series of found moments.
10. Whitley Bay.