Sunday, May 10, 2009


Three nights in London is a sure recipe for havoc with one's sleep rhythms, which is probably why I was wide awake at 4.45 this morning.   The previous night I'd been awakened at 2 a.m. by the outside security lights coming on - I thought I'd better check, and was just in time to see a very handsome urban fox trotting down my parents' garden.   This morning - no security light, but the very palest beginnings of dawn, and a huge yellow full moon rapidly sinking behind the neighbors' roof, framed by tree branches and television aerial.

This is the window that I used to hang out of late at night in 1965 and 1966, before I had a radio of my own, listening to the dances in the school hall behind the tree line (a far more magnificent tree line - they sawed down the old trees to make room for a new swimming pool, which put paid to the dances, too).   Above all,  I was listening out above all for them to play the Stones singing The Last Time (wonderful footage here - on a very incongruous De Chirico influenced set), which struck me, even when I was 11 or 12, as the height of decadent angry melancholia, an impression reinforced, no doubt, by the sound of wind in these same high trees.

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