Monday, 21 October 2013

This weekend I had the rare and very precious treat of an old friend come to visit. She was one of my original American flatmates from when I first came to London back in the late 1970s. In those days, the four of us were all going to become writers. We used to joke (as I now know probably every young person in London with dreams jokes) that one day there would be a blue plaque on our building to show where we had first met and started out. So it was extraordinary to see her again, all these years later, back in London. Still her, still me, but so very much had happened between that year and this.

I took her for a 'oncer'. That is, we walked out from where I live and to the local park to admire the view over London, then down along where the old railway line ran and into Highgate Wood. Through Highgate Wood to Queen's Wood and here we paused. We had been talking about that gut feeling you get when you know something is wrong or right, though you can't explain why. We'd been talking about things that can't - yet? - be explained and how, though neither of us is New Age-y or would describe ourselves as religious or spiritual, we both have had experiences that defy logic and so we remain open minded. She had said, though, that she believed she was less attuned to 'vibes' then most.

So there we were in Queen's Wood, standing still, and I turned to her and before I said a word, she said, "I definitely feel a vibe here!" Indeed. I told her she wasn't the first and that some people said there had been a plague pit there and how, without even knowing any history, everyone I've ever spoken to has said they felt "something" when they were in Queen's Wood. So, that is my first picture, above: the wood looking all beautiful and peaceful in the end-of-day autumn light, but still...

We walked on, down along the path that goes past the cricket grounds and then back up along the road to the park where we began, making a giant loop and when we were nearly back we saw the full moon rising. This picture is very grainy and sadly doesn't capture the event very well, but is better than nothing - just! And while we covered all that ground, we managed to cover a lot of years as well, catching up.

The old song is corny but true: 
Make new friends, but keep the old. 
One is silver and the other gold.

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