Easter Sunday Floating Market

‘Til now, the children have come to us for feasts and gatherings but Easter Sunday we went to daughter Megan’s for lunch and next weekend it is with son Iwan.  She laid on a lovely meal, smoked, salmon, quails eggs, asparagus starters and roast lamb with five vegetables  followed by apple crumble. As well as Ryan and young Jake we were joined by Snuggles and Sparkles the school rabbits who, for rabbits, were well behaved.




After lunch we went to Cassiobury Park and farm











to visit the floating market.




The Grand Union Canal runs through Watford and Cassiobury Park straddles it with a small diesel train circuit for rides, a farm and water cress beds as well as wet lands.  Ryan spent his teens cycling the network of paths and hours sitting fishing so I new we would not get lost.

Start of the floating market


This is the beginning of the market.  It was great seeing the narrow boats with the different wares, the boat folk and, of course opportunities for photographs.



You can just see the  vinyl records on the side of this boat.  All manner of images had been cut out of the discs with a hand fret-saw.  It was an unusual and impressive display

Floating Market

I bought a stone with  orthoceras  fossils, something I have been looking for some time.  It had to be the right shape and, of course, price, and it is both!



Searching orthoceras on the web I found this interesting article about scientists using its fossilised ink.  I find it fascinating.






A couple of images

Bow to bow









For sale








and two swans

Two Swans

We decided to have our walk amongst the paths and wet lands.   First we had to walk along the canal.

On the way, Valerie and Jake tried to rescue a balloon which was on the other bank.



Passing by


I Like boats and being on the water.  Quite a few years ago I rented a narrow boat for a long weekend from the boat hire centre in  Broxbourne.  It was November and pouring with rain.  I decided to go up the River Stort rather than the River Lee to Hertford. We managed to pass under the first bridge but by the time we reached the second, the river level was so high we could not pass under the second so I had to turn about.  This was hairy, the river was in full spate due to the heavy rain.  The technique is to turn the bow into the river bank and, turning the tiller in the appropriate direction cause the boat to swing round.  We managed it but got stuck under the bridge we had first passed under as the river had risen even more!  Passers by gazed down fro the bridge in wonder and amusement!  My brain leapt into action and I raced through the cabin to the fore deck and, laying on my back,  walked the boat through the arch by pushing and walking on the underside of the bridge.  We then took the River Lee which was less turbulent.  By Saturday the rain had stopped and we had a good time.

It was lovely seeing the boats.

Narrow boats moored


Water cress beds



On the way we discovered watercress beds, apparently this was big business at one time.  My father liked watercress, something I inherited from him.



And then found pelicans.










The wet lands were not photogenic but I was able to view some bull rushes from a hide we came across.

Bull Rushes from the hide

We had an enjoyable walk and chat and set off back to the car, home and tea.  As we were leaving the park I looked back.  There was an interesting bridge that once had a small house on it.

Remains and willows

The willows in the feature image above were from here too.


It was a wonderful Easter Sunday, family afternoon.


The Philosophy Café at the Dugdale, Enfield


Enfield is very fortunate to have a Philosophy Café which is based in the Dugdale Centre.  It is the brainchild of Dr Alan Murray who is a gifted poet as well as an excellent teacher of both poetry and philosophy.  It is proving very popular with about 30 people attending each time.


Philosophers on the way to the café!



I must admit to being a little apprehensive before my first attendance.  Our twin granddaughters live in France and, along with there fellow students, burnt their philosophy books when they left school.  An extreme deed but they had been having eight hours a week of philosophy lessons.  President Macron, a philosopher himself, says he wants to reduce or ban such lessons as it is having an adverse effect on the French psyche.  Philosophy is powerful stuff!  Still, I believe it teaches us to think, be precise and to debate issues without resorting to shouted abuse or violence and I love ideas and discussion so I was looking forward to my first session.

French philosopher



French philosopher meditating.  Didn’t one live in a bath of milk?






Alan chooses a topic and introduces it in a short lecture using the work of René Girard to illustrate and structure the lesson.

The topic for my first attendance was the concept that desire is mimetic and much must be or how else would advertising work?  Some desire, I feel, is hardwired into our brain as a consequence of evolution and natural selection but it was a fascinating concept and the debate was reasoned and disciplined thanks to Alan’s guidance and it has provoked me to a new way of regarding desire; to contemplate the implications of the concept.

I soon realised that a common agreement on the precise meaning of words was needed and I was reminded of someone in the 17th century, whose name I cannot recall, declaring “we need more words”.  More new words were added in this century than any other due to an avalanche of new ideas and discoveries.



The average native English speaker has a vocabulary of about 20,000 to 35,000 words.  It is estimated that there are 750,000 words in the English language.



Whether or not there is a word for it, things exist and a word can only express a part of something.  Light is just a small segment of an infinite range of electromagnetic radiation of varying frequency and wavelength and we only need a word for it as we can “see” it.

Prism and rainbow

A prism will split white light in to different colours. Some people can see more blues than most but there is only one word “blue”  Dogs see a limited range of colours and can see UV light which is invisible to us.  Apparently their urine fluoresces UV light.


Now a philosopher



I am getting lost in my argument and thinking and need more visits to the Philosophy Café.

March Miscellany

By now I was beginning to get back to normal and wondered if an icon would help my site and here it is just 512 pixels square.  It is one of a short series of images I took of a Peregrine Falcon that was being displayed at Capel Manor.  I was trying out a telephoto lens. hence the black background.

The 12th we went to see Carmen at the Royal Opera House and what a disappointment.  I was expecting, colour, passion, warmth, exuberance.  It was all grey, black and white and Carmen appeared in a grey gorilla suit!  It was dreary and we were glad to leave at the interval even though the tickets had cost an arm and a leg.

Dugdale Foyer


A March success story was the project to expose the original floor of the theatre Foyer  in the Dugdale Centre.  Paul Everitt had asked if I could suggest a quick way to remove adhesive residues left when the carpet tiles were lifted.  Fortunately I was able to help using Chela’s product Eraze HD and the beautiful metal tiles were brought back to life.  What a difference!  The whole area was opened up, looks lighter, modern, edgy.  A museum shop selling goods made in Enfield will soon be installed.

Victorian Anthony



We went to a wonderful exhibition of Victorian photographs at the National Portrait Gallery.  The photos were contact printed onto sensitised paper from glass negatives.  There is a short video showing how this was done.  I can be but filled with admiration at the technical as well as artistic skills of those who produced such beautiful, evocative images.  This is a fun picture of me posing behind a pop-up Victorian photo frame.  I am doing my best to look full of deep and wonderful thoughts.



China Town


We had lunch in a Malaysian Café, C&R, in Rupert Court and it was lovely.  I had the Singapore Laska featured in the review (link above) and it was delicious.  I like chrysanthemum tea and had a mug of it.

Visiting China town is always fun  and I was able to buy a tub of Pu-Er tea


though Valerie steered me away from the delicious Dorian fruit; they have a stimulating fragrance and heavenly taste!  I had been searching for this tea and is most delicious, even though it is probably made by the modern accelerated fermentation process.  The traditional method has the tea fermenting in a cave for 10 or 12 years.  Now that I have the taste I must seek out a traditional product.



Valerie wanted to check that the headstone of her great aunt Fanny Darville, née Danvers, was OK.  Last time we visited it had fallen over.  Valerie jumped up and down on it after we had re-set it.  We found it upright and solid, no movement, which was good and Valerie planted a primrose which looked very pretty against the grey and lichen tombstone.  The Danvers’s line goes back to the Regicide John Danvers who was one of the signatories of Charles I death warrant.  Fortunately John died before Charles’s II thugs tracked him down.  His co-signatories suffered horrible deaths.  The grave is in St Nicholas Church, Great Kimble and the cemetery is  lovely.

Grave Yard

Work was being done to renovate various paths as you can see.  The yews are just magnificent and the bench and swing next to the large yew in the background above, made great pictures.









Yew Tree and Bench








Finally a walk up Bush Hill and along the Victorian path and down to Enfield Town Park, (please excuse the paucity of information on the linked website.  Best I could find).  The long narrow and steep final stretch of the path meets a little iron bridge over the New River where we fed the ducks and coots and magpies.  We enjoy this.

New River Loop 2



Holocaust Memorial Day, Dugdale Theatre, Enfield

This year, Enfield poets were asked to read poems  at the Holocaust Memorial Day  taking place in Enfield and I wrote the Haiku above for this occasion and it was translated into Hebrew by Poet Nurit Kahana.  In the feature image above you can see us in the front row. From the right; Christine Vial, me and Valerie Darville who was sitting next to Gerald Granston who spoke about his experience escaping from Germany on the SS St Louis.

HMD Programme 2018-3


It was an extraordinarily moving event that were very proud to have taken part in. The theatre was full and there was a mix of ages and backgrounds of both  those taking an active part and those in the audience.  As well as the moving account by Gerald Granston of his experiences on the SS St Louis and how he eventually came to England, there was a film of Appolinaire Kageruka  speaking of his harrowing experiences during the Genocide in Rwanda demonstrating that genocide is still happening all these years later.


I was made to think of the awfulness and horror of the Holocaust with friends, neighbours, work colleagues denouncing Jews to the Nazis; how could this happen?  I was born during the war and remember post war newsreels of the death camps but I needed to be reminded of this now. How can we keep the memories alive so that they are still real, visceral, long after any survivors of those dreadful times are no longer with us?  The Memorial Days are designed, in part, to achieve this and I hope they succeed.

Hlcaust Memorial Day_Enf_011


There was music from he Wolfson Hillel Primary school choir who sang, in Hebrew, songs full of passion and feeling.




Hlcaust Memorial Day_Enf_102



Cllr. Doug Taylor who initiated Enfield’s first Holocaust Memorial Day talking to Gerald Granston and Rabbi Emanuel Levy.




HMD 25th Jan 2018




Enfield Poet Christine Vial


Hlcaust Memorial Day_Enf_029






Enfield Poet Anthony Fisher





The poems can be seen here.

Images courtesy of the London Borough of Enfield


9th Floor – Royal Free Hospital


The 4th of February was a dramatic day for us.  Thanks to Valerie’s clear thinking and action, it started with an appointment with a duty doctor who sent me to Barnet A&E and then the Royal Free Hospital.  The experience prompted a short poem.

9th Floor night time
On arrival, the ambulance personnel pointed out the night time view

and  these are the evening and daytime views.

So here is the poem:

Ninth Floor

For me, the fourth of February
began at the duty doctor
and ended, via Barnet A&E,
on the ninth floor of the Royal Free;
the ambulance crew pointed out
the magnificent view over London.
A massive infection kept me there for six nights.

That first night I felt oddly secure
even though I was without
my instruments of support;
spectacles, hearing aids, watch
wallet with cash and cards,
my phone off as the battery was low.

I thought of how Valerie had come back
to see me leave in the ambulance,
glad that she was now safe at home.
Shrouded in a yellow-grey miasma of nausea,
time for me was distorted-
Valerie came each afternoon
and the children on separate days.

Elwyn witnessed my examination
and claimed that my right testicle
was the size of a grapefruit
though goose egg was more likely.

My daughter brought me home,
sent a laconic text to her brothers
“Grapefruit back in fruit bowl.”

© Anthony Fisher March 2108

View from the fruit bowl.


The All Saint’s Session


Last night Valerie and I went to a wonderful performance of music and poetry at All Saint’s Church, Edmonton.  Produced by Cheryl Moskowitz and Alastair Gavin, it was exceptional in quality and the senses it stimulated.  When the lights went down the set, lit by candles (I counted 33) and simple spot lights, appeared as a painting and I would have been happy just looking at it imagining music and words as if I were in an art gallery. The cello played a few notes and then came Alastair’s electric piano.  Aprés Un Rève is a beautiful piece and the performance was delightful.

I had left my camera at home so my trusty iPhone was pressed into use.

Ian Burdge




Ian Burdge







Alastair behind music





Alastair Gavin hidden behind his music and key board.






Mario Petrucci  and Cheryl Moskowitz then read, both are evocative and thoughtful, good poets who perform well.  Two excellent readings.

After the interval Mario read his translations of Sufi poems with Cheryl sounding very sinister.  Alastair managed to conjure the desert and altered state of consciousness in a most extraordinary fashion and the music composed by him and Ian complimented and underpinned the poems in a sensitive and  mystical way.






Performing For The LOVE of GOD.






The church is an unusually beautiful and gentle venue for performance and, to complete the enjoyment, there was incense hanging in the air.

All Saints Programme164




Here is the rather crumpled programme.  The next performance is on Thursday 19th April at All Saint’s Church.  For details email:


Poetic Voices – sound archive for all poets.

A poem comes alive when it is read out loud, changes and with an audience it becomes three dimensional; poem, reader, audience.  Poetic Voices  is a sound archive for all poets so that as many people as is possible can hear them read their poem.  I hope that it continues long beyond me so that it everyone can be heard for all time.  At least that is my dream.





Looking into the future!






It began when I was puzzling over how visitors to the Dugdale Arts Centre  could listen to poems.  I struggled with the idea of a tablet with jukebox programme, exhibition stand but none seemed safe and stable and all were rather costly.  I then thought “jukebox” and found a company who sold reconditioned pub jukeboxes that had a touch screen and Windows operating system on the computer and it weighed 90 kgs.  so it would not walk!  Once I had fitted two sets of earphones and mastered the mysteries of meta data the Jukebox Poetry was born!

Juke box Anthony and Clive Jones



The jukebox with Clive Jones and me looking rather too proprietorial!




The poems are loaded into an album of about 10 to 12 tracks which are then uploaded to the jukebox.  So there are about 12 albums  and I need to upload some more.

Back to Poetic Voices so far we have some 63 poets and about 150 poems.  More are need so please contact me via the contacts page if you would like to have you reading your poems added to the site.  It has hits from all over the world which is just lovely.

Just for fun have a listen to Polyglottal Londinium.  It is an Audio Visual of all 28 translations of my poem Londinium.  The idea came to me as I was travelling to Liverpool Street Station and the carriage seemed to be full of the world speaking at the same time.  I did not understand a word but it was thrilling.




Tosca and London Lumiere

I was 75 last week and Valerie took me to see Tosca at the Royal Opera House for her birthday present to me; it was my first visit to this most magnificent building and theatre.  We went first to Leicester Square to see the London Lumiére installation.  There were several across London with different themes and this one was flora and fauna depicted in a most beautiful way.  It was a lovely beginning to a special evening.  Here are some of the photographs that I took.


As the lights had only just been switched on so the Square was not too crowded.  It still had the buzz of London that always gives me such a thrill.

Lumiere Fox

The fox was magnificent.

Lumiere Hare

as was the hare…

and the Falcons

The butterflies were on a carousel but, as usual, I did not think to video them.

Lumiere Butterflies 1

Lumiere Butterflies 2

We then walked up Long Acre towards Covent Garden.  There used to be a great shop here, the 80s I think, called Flic Flac that sold vintage clothes where I bought a Palm Beach Seersucker Jacket  that I was immensely proud of.  It was ideal for travelling and hot weather and England too.  The link shows one with trousers but I had just the jacket.

The Royal Opera House – the link is to a site with more detail – is a glorious building, somewhat marred by building works but still fabulous.  We were early and had sandwiches and tea in the Champagne bar which has magnificent cast iron pillars and huge mirrors reflecting the room.  It was a treat just sitting, looking.


We were a bit surprised at how “dressed down” people were.  I felt positively overdressed in my black silk roll neck top,  black corduroy jacket and Mephisto shoes; my poet’s garb.  I wasn’t expecting white silk scarves and top hats but perhaps Thursday is dress-down day.

Toscais one of my favourite Puccini operas, lots of horn and brass, melodramatic, passionate, evil and everyone dies.  Here is a YouTube link to Pavarotti singing one of the Arias.

We had great seats in the back row of the Grand Tier where the screen for the English subtitles was only just above our eye level which made it easy to read without distraction.  I had a friend in chorus at the ENO at the Coliseum and she would get me free tickets which was wonderful, she retired so they are no more.  The operas are sung in English at the ENO (English National Opera) but the music and singing soar in the original Italian, true Bel Cantowhich cannot be achieved in English.

I have used the image of the luxurious safety curtain embroided in Gold in the feature image above but I like it so here it is again.  Every seat was filled by the time the performance began.


The sets were elaborate, sumptuous, Continue reading “Tosca and London Lumiere”

Random Thoughts on Photos

The photograph in the featured image above was taken, a couple of days ago, from a functional steel and concrete bridge over Cuffley Brook.  I like to stop and look and sometimes take a picture as the brook and its banks change so much.  Even this time with the limited telephoto my camera had, it can look a different place.

Whitewebbs from Bridge cropped

OK I changed the colour a bit using Photoshop but not much.  It looks like a magic pool where warlocks go to commune with the Naiads of the water which flows from Hertfordshire to Turkey Brook and then the Lee.



Standing by the lake which is up the hill through the woods,  Whitewebbs Pond cropped I noticed the thin branches hanging down  and thought that this would make an interesting picture.  It must be about 45 years I have been visiting this spot and not noticed this perspective before.  Although the fringe of branches is slight it is like looking out into a different world.


Yesterday we visited Tate Britain to see the exhibition “Impressionists in London”.  Walking from Plimlico Tube Station some trees looked fabulous against clouds and buildings.

Walking to Tate Britain





Here the image is a memory of a good day and London unusually quiet.  I like the different textures and colours, the tracery of the trees and the simple colours and lines of the buildings, the pedestrians wandering by.





Valerie then treated me to lunch at Fortnum and Mason.  It was one of the best restaurant meals I have had for a long time.  A raw mackerel starter followed by fish pie and a mixed leaf salad.

Lunch at Fortnum's

The photo will always remind me of the lovely lunch with her.

After eating we went to the first floor to buy some opulent crackers, half price in the sale, and then get some anchovy relish which is other-worldly in flavour.

Here it is on toasted rye bread.

Lunch at Fortnum's

AND THEY HAD RUN OUT, WHAT A DISASTER!  Ah well it means another visit.


Poetry in Enfield from Henry VIII to Enfield Poets – part one, Henry VIII

Poetry fills Enfield’s air, seeps out of the ground so it is no wonder so many poets are associated with this North London Borough.  The first for me is:Henry-VIII1



Henry VIII who liked to hunt in the vast forest that was the Royal Chase.









His palace, Elsynge was located in, what are now, the grounds of Forty Hall.





[6533] Elsyng

Each year the Enfield Archaeological Society excavate the ruins but have to refill them as the masonry is of such poor quality and would deteriorate if left exposed to the atmosphere:  though current thinking is that Elsynge was every bit as grand as Hampton Court.  It was certainly his favourite palace and was probably more of a family home.  His children Edward and Elizabeth spent a lot of time there and it is where they were told of their father’s death and that Edward was to be king. It is thought that much of the planning of the Reformation was carried out here.  Nearby Waltham Abbey was the last monastery to be dissolved as the abbot was a friend of Henry.

Elsgyne site from House



Looking down towards the site of Elsynge Palace from the second floor of Forty Hall.





In Henry’s time less than 10% of the population were literate.  It was important for the monarch to be perceived as cultured as well as having physical prowess and power,  It was the time of courtly love and romance and Henry writing poetry was in keeping with the times.  Not a great poet by any means but he spent time on it and I feel that a relaxed atmosphere at Elsynge and the hunting encouraged this creative side of the monarch.  He often used his poetry as a political tool, reminding all that he was King and that his will should prevail.

When researching for this blog I was very pleased to discover a book edited by Peter C Herman “Reading Monarchs Writing” which has a series of essays and examples of the poetry of Henry VIII, Mary Stuart, Elizabeth I and James VI/I. Apart from Mary Stuart all had lived in Enfield at one time or another.  I emailed Peter Herman who gave me permission to quote from his book and here is one of Henry’s poems.  It is very political.  Though it begins in a defensive apologetic mood, it ends with an overt statement of Royal power.

Though some say that youth rules me,
I trust in age to tarry.
God and my right, and my duty,
From them shall  I never vary,
Though some say that youth rules me.

I pray you all that aged be
How well did you your youth carry?
I think some worse of each degree.
Therein a wager lay dare I,
Though some say that youth rules me.

Pastimes of youth some time among–
None can say but necessary.
I hurt no man, I do no wrong,
I love true where I did marry,
Though some say that youth rules me.

Then soon discuss that hence we must.
Pray we to God and Saint Mary
That all amend, and here an end.

Thus says the King, the eighth Harry,
Though some say that youth rules me.

Finally a poem that sums Henry up I feel.  It is rather long so I give just the first stanza.

The Kings Ballad

Pastime with good company
I love and shall until I die.
Grudge who likes, but none deny;
So God be pleased, thus live will I,
      For my pastance:
Hunt, sing, and dance.