Sunday 16 June 2024


The Garden Against Time, IN SEARCH OF A COMMON PARADISE by Olivia Laing, who is restoring a garden in Suffolk, reading Thomas More, Thomas Browne, John Clare, W.G. Sebald, William Morris, Derek Jarman, and making an argument for the commons, for the commonality of land, the primacy of land in our lives. 

I read the first half very fast, then a pause, then the last two sections up at the pond today, with intermittent sun and very small frogs, much smaller than their late tadpole state, it seemed, hopping in and out of the pond. 

Olivia Laing's book made me think about what we're doing here, our moves towards commonality. People come here and walk about and help. 'It's almost offensively stunning', said Jack the dancer from Australia, who's staying in the cabin, after his first walkabout last week at the champagne hour, early evening. 'It's like a dream', said Jyeung from South Korea. Inspiring. Paradise. Several people  have said.  Paradise is offensively stunning. Why? 

Olivia Laing answers that question to some degree.

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