lost time and found time

December starts on Wednesday and in my diary I have no free nights for the next fortnight. All this chat about silence and solitude and space has only highlighted how frantically busy life is, especially in the run up to Christmas. Every second becomes precious and any lost time has to be made up for.

B says that if such a thing as ‘lost time’ actually exists, slipped away into hidden pockets where we never see it, then ‘found time’ must be when we accidentally stumble on one of those hidden pockets.

What do you do when all of a sudden you find you’ve got time on your hands? On Friday I had a whole afternoon of the stuff.

So first I went and stood under a tree and looked at the colours of the leaves.


Then I tried to get into a park that I’m too old to enter.


Next stop, a sense of history (and a toilet break) at the British Museum, followed by a browse through the shelves of the London Review Bookshop, and a cup of coffee.


I kept heading south towards the Mall and the ICA to see their new contemporaries exhibition.


And as the light disappeared from the sky, I stood with the tourists in front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square to admire the London skyline.

As Mary Oliver said:
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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