Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 17 July 2016
Young boys in Paradise
I am remembering the dream-like tranquility of long school holidays in rural Surrey - ancient mills and stagnant pools, the green surfaces of which would occasionally be punctured by a sleepy fish making a languid lunge at an imagined morsel, the ripples limited to two concentric circles by the algae.
The hum of a bumblebee - just like Granchester Meadows.
There was one spot which I used to visit in the Summer whenever I could, because it was exactly like the Disney illustrations of Peter Pan, when the kids were flown to the islands and teamed-up with the ticking crocodile when evading Hook.
This area should really have been a swamp, but in fact was a glade in a wood which had many limpid, shallow pools interspersed amongst tufty, dry islands of about six or seven feet across - close enough to be able to jump from one to the other over the water.
It had exactly the same atmosphere of peace as the much larger 'Silent Pool' of Newlands Corner about 20 miles away, but in miniature.
I took a friend there to share the calm and stillness with him, and we sat on one island in silent reverie, just taking in the beauty of the place.
Then everything changed when we noticed two girls of about our age, calmy walking past us through the wood. In an instant, I knew what I had to do.
"I am going to expose myself to those girls!" I blurted, and stood to my feet as I prepapred to hop from one island to the other to reach them.
Fortunately, my friend talked me out of my hasty plan, and I remember the slightly shocked, slightly worried look on his face as he understood that I was serious.
I sat back down on the mossy bank and peace temporarily returned.