'A grey pall has come tilting up from behind the hill, intensifying the green of fields and trees and hedges. The landscape is vivid. And the first drops of rain begin to fall.'
Wimbledon was another distraction. It's one of the few sporting events I like, although I'd be happier if there were more Federers and fewer Smasher-Grunts around. Roger (who has a South African mother, by the by) was beaten in the end by Novak Djokovic the Serb, but I like him too, and it was a great match. There have been a few beautiful new players this year - notably the glorious American Coco Gauff - and Simona Halep (Roumanian) who took the women's title from Serena Williams, is a delight, both on court and off.
We also went to see 3 movies in 7 days. (QFT is the perfect venue for a recuperating pensioner nursing a 9 inch curved scar that looks like a shark bite.) Sometimes, Always, Never was a poignant, off-beat, Bill Nighy vehicle that appealed to us both (it was filmed in Lancashire, where Professor Gloom grew up) and Kind Hearts and Coronets is still blackly brilliant after 70 years. Our third film, The Gardens of Piet Oudolf, was a documentary about the garden designs of Dutchman Oudolf. It was like watching a stream of beautiful, restful, abstract paintings interspersed with trenchant Dutch observations. Lovely.
|A wild (looking) Oudolf garden|
The whole question of identity is a minefield: so many people these days are displaced - born on one continent, raised on another; blown from country to country on the winds of war, work, necessity, choice - but in the end your nationality, ethnicity, age, sex or creed shouldn't matter. You either contribute what you can to society, or you don't, and we are all members of the human race - apart from Roger Federer, obviously, who is a God.
And the only country we will all wash up in in the end (if we're lucky) is the Country of the Old, although for the time being I'm pretending not to be here.