Mark this Day

Mark this day!
Mark this day.
Hang out the bunting
And launch a clatter of fireworks from the grassy earth
For its like may not be seen again.
Today I ran for a full twenty-eight minutes
Without stopping.
I lapped the gleaming Serpentine
And came to rest in Albert’s gilded gaze
Beside the sun-turned crocuses.
Mark this day
Because life is short
And we must take our pleasures where we can.




My thanks to Richard and Frank for their recent “moral support”: and to “Horslips – Live”: for providing an irresistible rhythm to today’s run.

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23 Responses to Mark this Day

  1. Lou Woodley says:

    Like! Well done Stephen 🙂

  2. Matt Brown says:

    You ran for half an hour, took a photo and composed some verse. Professor Curry, you are a true Renaissance man.

  3. Richard P. Grant says:

    Beautiful crocus, Stephen. And well done!

  4. Stephen Curry says:

    I confess the photo was taken at the end of Monday’s run (though it could equally have been today as the weather was so beautiful again). The ‘poetry’ did come to me as I stumbled back to College. I initially intended just to post it, prosaically, as a comment beneath my “Still Running”: post, but then I had this funny kind of endorphin rush…

  5. Frank Norman says:

    Well done!
    _I lapped the gleaming Serpentine_
    Were you that thirsty?

  6. Stephen Curry says:

    Ha, ha! I did wonder at the ambiguity of that one Frank, but (a) I enjoy a good laugh and (b) I couldn’t think of a decent single-syllable substitute for lapped.

  7. Richard Wintle says:

    And there I was thinking that this was yet another “MT4 IS HERE!!!!!!!” post.
    What you wrote is much better, and well done on the running. Your line _launch a clatter of fireworks from the grassy earth_ somehow reminds me of W.H. Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’:
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood

    seen here for comparison.

  8. Ken Doyle says:

    Nice! I havent seen any crocuses (crocii?) yet, nor have I been running.

  9. Åsa Karlström says:

    I read it all and missed the 28 mins run as the big thing, since I stared at the flowers and thought “Finally, spring is the UK”. Ah, I guess both are happy times so why not? 🙂
    (I felt similar to “woho spring soon” when I saw the Lent lily just outside the house 😀 )

  10. Stephen Curry says:

    That’s funny Richard, because something of Auden’s poem was rattling in my head at the time. (I only know it from the funeral scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral – some Renaissance man!) My paltry effort may be even more derivative than I realise.
    It is good to see the crocuses again, Ken and Åsa – spring finally sprung.

  11. Austin Elliott says:

    Yes, nice photo. Good to see the crocuses out (even up here in t’North).
    Unfortunately we have to keep the kids away from the crocuses as Junior One (aged 5) likes to trample on them (after the fashion of her role model Horrid Henry), while Junior Two (aged 19 months) likes to pull the heads off them and eat them.

  12. Stephen Curry says:

    They sound like a lively pair – have a great weekend, Austin!
    Mine are a little further on. Child D will be badgering me for driving lessons come June…

  13. Eva Amsen says:

    I don’t feel qualified to even say “nice” or “good job” when I see poetry. But that’s what I would say if I wasn’t so intimidated by poems.

  14. Austin Elliott says:

    Hmmm. Dangerous business for family harmony, driving lessons. My dad and I always got on well, but the only times we almost ended up at loggerheads were (i) when he tried to teach me maths/physics; and (ii) when he tried to teach me to drive. The basic problem was that he was good at doing both, while I had no natural talent for either.

  15. Kristi Vogel says:

    Congrats, Stephen, well done!
    I have a few crocus photos from my visit to London last February, but I don’t think I can post them in a comment anymore.
    while Junior Two (aged 19 months) likes to pull the heads off them and eat them
    You know, at those homesteading, back to the land, handknit muesli types of blogs, they would call that “wildcrafting”, and be very smug about it. Junior Two is precociously Green, apparently.

  16. Brian Derby says:

    Ah the flora of the deep south. No crocuses out here up north, only green shoots and buds. Running to Horslips, I have an LP or two of theirs that have never been transfered to MP3. Never thought they were in the same folk rock league as Fairport Convention or Lindisgarne.

  17. Stephen Curry says:

    Actually Austin, I have to take my hat off to my Dad who guided me through my driving lessons with an amazing degree of calm. I asked him on the phone the other night if he’d be prepared to come over and take Child D out, since I fear I might be somewhat less patient.
    And how come you have crocuses but Brian Derby doesn’t? I thought you lived in the same neck of the woods. Obviously not exactly the same neck.
    With regard to musical tastes, Brian, I don’t know the work of Lindisfarne or FC but my connection with Horslips is quite visceral. They were the first ‘rock’ band I ever saw (when I was about 13) and it was love at first sight. At the end of my run yesterday, as I was catching my breath, I rewarded myself by turning up the volume and wallowing in the guitar riff from Self Defence, quite possibly my all time favourite.
    Kristi – you mustn’t encourage Austin’s kids to eat flowers! The recession isn’t quite that bad. Yet.

  18. Austin Elliott says:

    Thanks Kristi – I don’t think we’re quite that hand-knit, even in our most muesli-ish moments! My Other Half was raised on a farm, so she can knit (and make/build/mend/do all sorts of other stuff), but I have found that farmers tend to “quickest and most efficient” rather than to “aspirant eco-dabbler bespoke hand-crafted”. You should hear what she says about the parents at the kids’ school who are trying to run the vegetable garden without knowing anything about growing vegetables…!
    Re. the crocuses, Brian is about ten miles West and a bit South of us, but his is a less urban location, so that might be the difference. The crocuses around us are mostly flower buds, so getting towards opening (except for the ones Junior Two has devoured) rather than open.

  19. Norman Copeland says:

    Interesting… Lol… Plenty of emmision, faint fusion…
    Anyway… I’m in london, hello…
    Norman Copeland.

  20. Terry Jackson says:

    such little legs, 28 minutes you say….I could walk it in 5
    keep up the good work

  21. Stephen Curry says:

    Stagger more like, Grandad.
    (Welcome to Nature Network, Terry!)

  22. Stephen Curry says:

    25 mins today with a 1 min walk at about 20 mins, which I blame on Thom Yorke singing “You wear me out” over and over and over again in such a jaded way in _Fake Plastic Trees_.
    I don’t think I can run to Radiohead.

  23. Norman Copeland says:

    It’s a good thing you keep yourself checking stamina, this era needs good scientist’s interested with those sorts of things, you would probably like this blog, he’s a good man…

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