New End

January 30, 2009

New End

In the Hungarian Café in Hampstead village on Sunday morning reading the papers. I’d moved to New End. A large pastel painting representing the Vale of Health pond hangs there. Jan rings from London. Photographs of the first Donegal holiday are in my post-box. I’m writing this in Steglitz afterwards. Our sincerest, loveliest, funniest friends were Jewish girls then. One of their mothers remembered Dylan Thomas from a PH in Fitzrovia. The girl suffered from bulimia, and then I heard the stomach removed and re-installed the wrong way, still works: A kind of 100% indifference. My mind is not so indifferent. And if anyone asked what I liked most about living? It might be public information films, especially the one set on Beachy Head. A tall blonde Jewish actor calls in to New End asking about something. I send him upstairs. One was often the victim of vitriolic launched from girls after a few drinks, but it was good practice and afterall, I had a way with words myself. One was an honorary girl. Then Lily and I were off to Rickmansworth on Sunday. I filled in the emptiness of Saturday by joining a X-country club, ending up in High Wycombe or Banbury, Finsbury or Battersea Park with Mornington Running Club, incidentally nearly all postmen so I think they should have said. Of course I loved the imagery of athletics. Some weekends were spent at Wickham Market, Suffolk. We walked on Overy Staithe. Walked among St. Andrew’s church, Covehithe. Her dad said “I’ve got a few years in me yet!” ascending the stairway. In the cottage hall hung pictures of Bobby Charlton and George Best, Shepherd Market and Hampstead village. From Shingle Streets I could see derelict radio masts. Cliff and beach paths were awkward and fragmented because of erosion. The lost villages miles offshore are legendary.

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