My next Fulham drop-stop was Eelbrook Common, a short walk from the station, about which Russ wrote one of his most beautiful and lyrical passages – the first paragraphs of the essay Pan Lives from The Moment under The Moment. The common is a triangle of brooding green and brown criss-crossed by concrete paths, dotted with streetlamps and perimetered by a high street, a railway line and several rows of very nice houses, one of which Russ himself lives in and which have also provided homes at various times over the years to William G. from Turtle Diary, Herman Orff from The Medusa Frequency, Peter Diggs from Amaryllis Night & Day, Harold Klein from Angelica’s Grotto and Roswell Clark from The Bat Tattoo. Of course – now it was clear where Russ gets all his ideas from. All these weird and wonderful people in his books are his neighbours! Jesus – imagine a coffee morning chez Hoban!
A steady flow of schoolchildren with rucksacks, mums with prams and commuters with scarves crossed the common in various directions. A pair of Royal Mail postmen trundling red trolleys eyed me suspiciously as I took a photo. A sign said, THIS IS YOUR COMMON – TREAT IT WITH CARE. I was aware that dropping yellow paper here might look very much like littering, so I went over to a bench facing into the park, from where I could imagine spending a number of deeply meditative hours, and sellotaped the sheet to it.