If you’ve read the blog for a while you’ll know that I try to shoehorn the posts into a number of broadly thematic meta-categories called notebooks.

It’s not often I consider opening up a new notebook. However with the Summer’s inlanding journey on the boat almost over, and the focus on the Quiddity Notebook easing, I’ve been thinking about doing just that…

A theme big enough to fill a new notebook escaped me though – until today.

Every brushstroke changes a picture.
[Complete Poems R. F. Langley]


Driving out of London via Brent Cross, almost without being aware of it’s presence, you cross and re-cross a river. An urban river. An all-but-hidden water world. A water course close to where I live yet absent, I know so little about it. It’s a shadow, an unknown entity – and that’s the attraction.This 16 mile tributary of the Thames is ripe for exploring. I don’t know quite where it’ll take me.

I’ve given the notebook a provisional title – Dollis-Mutton-Brent – after the two tributary brooks that form the source of the river in question and the River Brent.

Gentle Brent, I used to know you
Wandering Wembley-wards at will,
Now what change your waters show you
In the meadowlands you fill!
Recollect the elm-trees misty
And the footpaths climbing twisty
Under cedar-shaded palings,
Low laburnum-leaned-on railings
Out of Northolt on and upward to the heights of Harrow Hill.
Sir John Betjeman “Middlesex”


Brent-Wetland-5 overall picture of the river
The lie of the land…

And the ‘logo’ for the new notebook, this sketch of the coat-of-arms of a Totteridge worthy from the 16thC.


In my imagination the straight lines & symmetry symbolise the city overtopped by  interference in the form of the jagged uncertainty of mother nature… or something like that!

One thought on “A New Notebook?

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