Wordsworth – Down Memory Lane


When I started work in KL way back in 1991, I used to take the bus. It was an hour’s trek each way. I’d read Wordsworth. God only knows why. I’d not just read it, I memorised whole stanzas. Like this extract here, which I used to be able to recite…

In thoughtless gaiety I coursed the plain,
And hope itself was all I knew of pain;
For then, the inexperienced heart would beat
At times, while young Content forsook her seat,
And wild Impatience, pointing upward, showed,
Through passes yet unreached, a brighter road.
Alas! the idle tale of man is found
Depicted in the dial’s moral round;
Hope with reflection blends her social rays
To gild the total tablet of his days;
Yet still, the sport of some malignant power,
He knows but from its shade the present hour.
But why, ungrateful, dwell on idle pain?
To show what pleasures yet to me remain,
Say, will my Friend, with unreluctant ear,
The history of a poet’s evening hear?
When, in the south, the wan noon, brooding still,
Breathed a pale steam around the glaring hill,
And shades of deep-embattled clouds were seen,
Spotting the northern cliffs with lights between;
When crowding cattle, checked by rails that make
A fence far stretched into the shallow lake,
Lashed the cool water with their restless tails,
Or from high points of rock looked out for fanning gales:
When school-boys stretched their length upon the green;
And round the broad-spread oak, a glimmering scene,
In the rough fern-clad park, the herded deer
Shook the still-twinkling tail and glancing ear;
When horses in the sunburnt intake stood,
And vainly eyed below the tempting flood,
Or tracked the passenger, in mute distress,
With forward neck the closing gate to press–
Then, while I wandered where the huddling rill
Brightens with water-breaks the hollow ghyll
As by enchantment, an obscure retreat
Opened at once, and stayed my devious feet.
While thick above the rill the branches close,
In rocky basin its wild waves repose,
Inverted shrubs, and moss of gloomy green,
Cling from the rocks, with pale wood-weeds between;
And its own twilight softens the whole scene,
Save where aloft the subtle sunbeams shine
On withered briars that o’er the crags recline;
Save where, with sparkling foam, a small cascade
Illumines, from within, the leafy shade;
Beyond, along the vista of the brook,
Where antique roots its bustling course o’erlook,
The eye reposes on a secret bridge
Half grey, half shagged with ivy to its ridge;
There, bending o’er the stream, the listless swain
Lingers behind his disappearing wain.
–Did Sabine grace adorn my living line,
Blandusia’s praise, wild stream, should yield to thine!

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Had a bad week? Spend a weekend with family and friends


Kiddo and Tress had dental appointments on Sat morning so we skipped our usual breakfast do at our local. I got up really early, watched another Euro 2012 QF game, then went out, dropped the dry cleaning off and got some milk and came back home to make them brekky. They then went off for their dental and I vacuumed the house.

When they got home, we went out, got some food to bring to Alex’s later that night and then got to a full moon afternoon tea. From there we did some clothes shopping for Kiddo and got home after 5 – which meant it was dark already. That night we went to Alex’s – something we have not done for a while. He had emailed some of us a few days earlier and before that I had kept in touch through text messages. It was a very good night of just talking to each other.

The previous night we had also spent the evening sharing a meal with some friends and we talked about a range of things. The dinner was at Old Kingdom on Canterbury Road at Surry Hills. The food was very good, the service was friendly and the company was warm, meaningful and really (1) took the edges off a rough week and (2) set the weekend up very nicely.

We left Alex’s and got home in good time to sleep a bit before I woke again, for another game. Spain v France was nowhere as good as either Portugal v Czech Rep or Germany v Greece. This morning’s dreadful England v Italy meant that it would be an Iberia v The Axis (well the core 2) semis and we’ll see a final with a representative from each.

Yesterday arvo after we got back from lunch with some old friends I took the little wizard out for a long walk. He was very excited and I needed to just be outdoors for a bit. It has been raining so much in Melbourne in recent weeks, that I think all the indoor dwelling sometimes makes me see things differently. The walk did me a lot of good – seeing that little fellow all perked up and happy, made me feel much better. Later that evening we stayed home, and I made some warm salad for lunch the next day. We then watched tv for a bit and on a wet, cold and dark winter’s night there could be few things better than to sit on a warm couch with family and the dog.

A weekend which started warmly with friends finished up on a cosy comfy couch with Kiddo and Tress and LBJ. It almost made up for a lousy week.