Blackhorse Road April 2011
Saturday night saw a lonesome field student of E17 temporarily vacate his cloister of erotic misery to make a bee line for the bright lights of the High Street, Walthamstow. Intent on stripping a bridesmaid bare (or two, even) he proceeded with an artful swagger. He thought his luck was in when three headless bridesmaids emerged from the darkness of the Crest charity shop.
He tried courting their attention, volunteering his services from down on one knee, however he was incapable of arousing anything but a mannequin stillness and silence - which he thought dumb before thinking better of such a judgement.
Determined not to be deterred or frustrated in his erotic mission our man decided to try dating some buildings instead. Earlier in the week the field student had loitered on several apartment block corners admiring the ornamental facades, at times lost in an Arcadian reverie. That evening he could not find the date stones for the building of St James St Apartments and the International Supermarket.
Suddenly the Grotesques (grottesco) of medievalist fantasy cried out like an awful conference of emergency service sirens. So intense were the cries, screams and wails of these terrible visages the field student had no choice but to seek the sanctuary of an altogether more peaceful and refined location - fleeing the arcade in search of a night garden.
Earlier in the day, north along the Blackhorse Road, the field student had spied a front garden between the corners of Courtenay Rd and Cornwallis Rd. Close to a bus stop, the garden was occupied by a line of resplendently blossomed trees; a free(?) cherry blossom festival. Seeking some philosophical solace, the ornamental male headed for the mysticism of the sakura (or ume) and the consolation of hanami. Given the field student’s nocturnal predilections this hanami would be a yozakura. Were the trees plum or cherry? Would there be, as in parts of Japan, a rowdy lantern lit party? No.
The field student strolled about the trees imbibing the atmosphere of the blossomed place hoping to revive his spirit. But for the flow of traffic along the Blackhorse Road it might have been a more peaceful experience. Although without a lantern the student had a camera and flashed the trees, capturing their floral images. He imagined this site and ephemeral illumination viewed from a greater distance. Two young women arrived at the bus stop, and finding the sight of someone photographing trees at night amusing, started laughing mockingly before being shuttled off by a night bus.
The field student recalled another tree in full bloom; one which during a hot and sunny June day had been so full of foraging bees of all sorts, it hummed or sang of a nectar flow.
According to this site, the rowan has some relevance to those searching for ghosts.
The wood of European Mountain Ash is a tough, strong wood used in making tool handles, cart-wheels, planks, and beams. The Rowan was once a tree of ill repute in Northern Europe, where the Celtic Druids had venerated it. It was associated with witchcraft in 15th-16th century England where it was a symbol of paganism and the supernatural - and in some circles it has magical properties good for the virility of the male essence.
For this student however, the digital camera screen blinked indicating exhausted batteries, and without an ash in sight, he made his way home