It was a lovely little bungalow in the middle of a very quiet street. Oh yes I could live here away from London’s busy life. The big trees – elm and oak – at the bottom of the garden, the two plum trees and a sea of white London Pride next to the patio.
But one day a fire destroyed the kitchen and nothing was the same anymore. The elm was attacked by Dutch elm disease, the plum trees were culled. The Owl did not woo anymore and there was no more noisy coupling of the hedgehogs at night. The door to the garden would not open.
The Wembley Arch, high-rise luxury flats, fast food shops and supermarkets outlets have replaced the Twin Towers, the quiet streets, the tea rooms, the fragrant bakery.
Indoors the knives were becoming blunt, the window panes always cloudy, the sun obscured by next door’s extension and to top it all there is some subsidence in the building. An unending destroying cycle of repairs and attempts at renewals.
But this summer has been sunny, the newly planted raised bed has been prolific. The self rooted magnolia flowered early, mediterranean jasmin and herbs delight my senses. A black cat stands watch against the visiting rat.
I do not anymore count the losses but contemplate the oak tree .