Thursday 29 November 2012


Adlestrop is a poem by Edward Thomas that I must have read at some time in the past but have little recollection of so doing.

It was referred to in the novel by Ian McEwan that I'm currently enjoying, "Sweet Tooth". The famous first line was quoted therein. The first line brings tears to my eyes. "Yes, I remember Adlestrop."

Who is he talking to? Himself, perhaps. What prompted him to say that or think it? How many years later is it?

And the evocation of England.


Yes, I remember Adlestrop --
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop -- only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Edward Thomas

Almost makes me want to build an English model railway layout.

The station no longer exists but the name board lives on in the local bus shelter.

And some more tiles laid on platform 3.


Have felt sad all day; not for myself but for others. Especially, I've felt sad for young people who are lonely and want to find a partner and don't seem able to.

Therefore have not been listening to Hot Chip but reverted to Radio 3 iPlayer and have been listening to today's lunchtime concert from Vienna Konzerthaus.

A programme of Mozart, Prokofiev and Schumann.

Vienna Konzerthaus
Last night's dinner:

Spouse-made macaroni cheese sauce
Tango class:

Pretty unsuccessful last night:

a) I can't remember even the shortest sequence of steps.

b) I'm totally without assertiveness with my partners and it is the male's job to lead.

"You must be stronger, firmer in your moves, Tony, goes the cry. You have to make the lady do your will. And so on and so on."

But I'm scared that there will be a repeat of that hilarious incident in "Meet The Parents" where the Ben Stiller character is being urged on to make a good aggressive and ultra-competitive contribution to a family game of water polo (the family being his girlfriend's family which he is trying to impress and fit in with). Taking the bit between his teeth, and completely misunderstanding the situation, he rises out of the water and hammers the ball back over the net and breaks a girl's nose on the other team.

No praise forthcoming, "It's only a game, Fokker!"

Likewise I can hear the cry, "It's only a dance, Morris!" as I shove my partner to the ground and she lands with a clatter and lets out an outraged scream of shock, pain and disgust.

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