A Walk of 10,711 steps, 7.17km, Oxford, 11th March 2007
Scout Hall – my brother.
Mum leaving home.
The sea had become for a minute, dried grass. It’s smell still lingered, left by the flood waters (receded). A bell chimes.
Parson’s Pleasure – green corrugated iron.
Bite-sized time: a tree sawn into logs.
6.30 – the gate closes.
Swollen, fast flowing river.
I remember Marcus Dutton who ran here before I reach his seat.
The deep red tree is bare now.
Jane Turner’s bench.
The Rainbow Bridge (not High Bridge).
I remember coming here at school. I didn’t know where it was then. A man was painting, we were all impressed.
Daffodlils are coming through.
A patch of grass on which I sat with Mike and Darren. I sent the photo to Sonia, a girl in America.
“Excuse me Sir.” A man has ridden his bike into the park.
A Georgian building – seems stuck in the past.
Sukey, my old dog.
Thoughts of a career, 1997.
Before I went to Poland I walked here – at the close of summer. The light was low, like honey.
Cholmondeley and Maurice Sirkin.
The big house.
Dawn and the dog, I met them a few days back.
Paintings on railings. Lisa and I laughed at the cyclist on Magdalen Bridge.
An email about Vivien Stchedroff.
I remember kids on bikes on the circular seat.
The hospital. Its chimney. Back home in Coniston Avenue. My brother and the trucks going up Ambleside Drive. Kath, Bob. The neighbours. The smell of creosote on summer fences. A walk to the post office in Eden Drive, by Helen’s house. The end of the 1970s.
Now. An old man, huge beard shakes his head.
Life is not a paragraph on Keble College.
Museum Road. Lamb and Flag Passage. The buzzing gate. The cobbled street (not there yet).
David Byrne enters my head. ‘Grown Backwards,’ (now walking in my mind down Cowley Road in the sunset to meet Gary). Cheers from football fans.
The buzzing gate.
The cobbled ‘street’. I remember drinking here underage with Mike. Outside. Plastic glasses.
Jericho. Bittersweet memories. Inspector Morse – first episode.
Mike, now lives in America. Red Fiesta XR2.
Catherine Wheel Inn (not here anymore).
Gunpowder Plot and Guy Fawkes’ Lantern in the Ashmolean.
The Playhouse – performances, my Mum and Rob.
Snatched conversation at Martyrs’ Memorial: “remarkably in 1904, Fellows of St. John’s College, if they wanted to get married…”
Writing this in Borders’ loo.
Putting up the show for later this week – Broad Street.
Turl Street – something of a mystery about this place.
Brasenose Lane – Mike who used to play the harmonica.
Duckers – all I ever bought here was an umbrella. Sitting on the ledge of a window. Light evening with Lisa – a bottle of cider.
Carfax – built from old photographs.
Chocolate chip cookies – Mike C and Carfax fish ‘n’ chips. American friends. New Inn and Cypress Hill.
2.55 Carfax. New Year’s Eve, looking at the clock. Two times. One with Mike and Darren driving down to the New Forest.
Old photographs of St. Aldates – the old Town Hall.
Blue Boar Street – A student dead.
The circles of cobbles outside Christ Church I remember when I was young again. I didn’t know where I was then. A vague recollection of St. Mary’s Tower before I knew its name. The old double-decker – the smell of stale cigarette smoke – the tickets. The bell strip to stop the bus.
I found Beef Lane for the first time a couple of years back.
Pembroke College. The writer….
Another Morse location – the porch of a house over the road.
Rose Place – Oxford is vague here.
Time bitten gate.
Bełżec. The meadow. Secrets.
The heads of Lady Montacute’s children.
The lady sitting on her bench – I forget her name.
I’ve often wondered how many victims lie beneath the meadow.
Merton and Magdalen would know.
She’s there with her drawing. As with almost every day. Perhaps she knows?
Oxford’s most beautiful demolished building.
The big house by the river – (the man who owns it came t my house once, to by a photo of his house).
Walks here when I worked at Blackwell’s, lunchtime.
A photograph of a tree.
The view. I drew it in my notebook a couple of years ago.
Embattled Christ Church Cathedral spire – all patched up.
Alice in Wonderland.
The river flows like time, it floods when it’s nowhere to go,
Children having there picture taken in daffodils. I did once, as a child. I wouldn’t look at the camera.
Path meanders like the river it follows. The people who walk it are like its water.
Memories of a picnic with Tortilla.
First balloon flight in England. 1789.
Jewish burial ground.
Deadman’s Walk – a photo of a man now dead with his children. They might be dead now too,
Inspecting the graves of the long forgotten. All their names have gone – just the names of the flowers are left.
Me, my cousin and my grandmother, 1973/4.
Blackened windows – who’s looked out from behind?
Drunk in the maze beneath Magdalen Tower.
A dog – looks like Sam, Terry’s dog from years ago.
Foundation stone of Magdalen Tower laid the year America was discovered.
Caution: Trip Hazard.
Bells. A red Morris Minor.
Marching to War.
Victoria Fountain, Magdalen Bridge. I find myself in countless old photographs.
The street of my formative years.
Children on the hill. Grown up and gone now.
Giant snowballs, monuments to lost childhoods, all gone.
Fireworks night. Two Irish girls, one called Adele. Fled the Troubles, scared of the noise. The bangs like bombs.
Memories of being 24.
“Touch the stone and then run back.”
Headington Hill Park. A relative stranger.
A photograph of the the Buttery. Quiet.
Birds sing. Traffic melts.
A dedication to Wyl Lewis.
The past goes on behind the Buttery windows just as the Morrell family still sit on their steps, looking out at me.
Iron railings keep the future out.
The dome of the mosque – the dome of the Radcliffe Camera.
Cuckoo Lane. Football as a boy and a faded milestone.
A penalty. Ball between the trees – goal.
The park – the rec.
Allotments – where they grow empty plastic bottles – stalks of old bamboo canes.
Coming home from work – bus – bruised sky.
The shape of the city.
A man cycles on the pavement: “Excuse me Sir.”
England Expects Every Man To Do His Duty.
The old sign for the street. Donna.
When I’m 64 sung badly in the Scout Hall. Mistake, no idea what it is.
New white lines.
Rob sits on the sofa.