Normally on a Friday I’d be writing about my latest investigations into the history of our old boat Eileen. But the research has again stalled. I’m still following leads, but there’s little new news to report just now.

However, in the fallow period I have been re-reading parts of the wonderfully vivid and beautifully written The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane. In Chapter 15 ‘Ghost’ he reflects on the development of Edward Thomas’s understanding of the interconnectedness of nature, landscape and man.

The following quote caught my eye:

Landscape and nature are not there simply to be gazed at; no they press hard upon and into our bodies and minds, complexly affect our moods, our sensibilities.

The challenge, of course, is how to record such experience given that, by definition, it may only exist at a level of sub-conscious emotion and therefore to all intents remains in the realm of feeling, and unsayable.

As I don’t currently have the freedom to ‘walk through’ my thoughts as Edward Thomas did or Robert Macfarlane does, my route to better understanding the affect of the natural world on me is more sedentary and domesticated.

However, I’ll work with what I’ve got and what’s immediately at hand.

And, in that I’m fortunate as, just in front of my office window, there’s a recently restored pond. This Urban Pond is going to become the focus of a series of occasional posts recording both the pond’s development over the Seasons and how, through familiarity, the pond affects me and informs my thinking.

Introducing the Urban Pond

Here’s the location of the pond, in W. London. That’s my school in the bottom left-hand corner, the cluster of 8+ buildings with shiny metal roofs. The pond is located in the heart of the school surrounded by the buildings.


Drowned Daffodil: beneath the first scattering of pond weed a broken Daffodil faces the sky from beneath the water…


And bubbles of frogspawn cluster…


Comfrey grows abundantly in the waterlogged borders of the pond. Here are the pale cream bell-like clusters of Common Comfrey S. officinale.

Further Reading:

The following links have nothing whatsoever to do with an Urban Pond! However, I couldn’t resist pointing you in the direct of a wonderfully poignant meditation on aging, Pondlife by Al Alvarez



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