All posts filed under: Buckinghamshire

David Bowie Earthly Messenger

A new career in an old town

If there was going to be a memorial statue for David Bowie then Aylesbury might seem an odd, out-of-the-way place for it. Why not Brixton, where he was born, or Bromley, where he was formed, or Soho, where he was transformed? The connection goes back to the early 1970s when, despite its traditional-market-town identity, Aylesbury had a thriving music scene.

Chequers Court

A little place in the country

Into the woods, and through the trees, near Chequers I went, and there I found: neither wolves nor teddy bears but armed cops on patrol. This is neither surprising nor sinister, given that Chequers Court is the Prime Minster’s country pile and that MI5 states ‘the current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is SEVERE’, meaning an attack is ‘highly likely’.

Some afterlives of the poets

More enduring than bronze now is this monument I have made, one to reach over the Pyramids’ regal heaps, one that no greedy devouring rain, that no blustering north wind nor the run of long years unnumbered nor ages’ flight can ruin. I’ll not die entirely, some principal part of me yet evading the great Goddess of Burials. (Ode III.30 – Horace, trans. John Hollander)

Pirate cat

Call me Fishpail. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having tired of the comforts of domesticity, and with nothing particular to bind me to my human home, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.

A convocation of spiders

A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul. (‘A Noiseless Patient Spider’ – Walt Whitman)