Sunday, January 20, 2008

Life: wandering 'round London

London can be a dark and dreary place, especially these days when we seem encased in clouds and the sun, when it does cut through, sets around 4pm. 'Tis even drearier to sit around my flat (see my earlier post), or the Goldsmiths library, or most anywhere else in my neighborhood.

Luckily I have adventurous flatmates. Sjors (pictured) is one such flatmate. Born on the tiny Dutch island of (insert unpronounceable Dutch word), Sjors has since sought a life of international travel and artistic media stuff.

Yesterday we ventured south and west on foot up Telegraph Hill and then on randomly until we found Nunhead Cemetery. The place was amazing. First thing was saw? A fox! After that we meandered up its main avenue toward the burnt-out church in the middle.

I'm not sure why, but I always feel a little extra sense of peace when I'm in cemeteries. Perhaps its the R.I.P. mantra engraved on so many headstones. Perhaps it's an extra jolt of awareness that there are bigger problems in the world than those I face each day. Perhaps it's knowing that I'm surrounded by people who... can't really talk to me. It has all the people-feeling, without the people-noise. I get that in churches too - the big, quiet churches where no one talks. 'Tis nice.

In any case, I came away feeling refreshed. Last weekend we ventured to Blackheath, a very nice (posh, villagy) area not far from here. I think we're starting a tradition.

Oh, I can't help but toss in this poem I found on the Brockley wikipedia page (it seemed appropriate on so many levels):

Linton Kwesi Johnson mentions Brockley in his poem "Inglan Is A Bitch". He spells it "Brackly" as this is roughly how it sounds in Jamaican patois:

dem a have a lickle facktri up inna Brackly
inna disya facktri all dem dhu is pack crackry
fi di laas fifteen years dem get mi laybah
now awftah fifteen years mi fall out a fayvah

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