Thursday, 17 November 2016

Let's move to Cumbria! (An ode to Annina)

‘The sea has to remain a mystery.’ She said then evaporated.
I’m flummoxed. They’re married. You tell me now as if I wouldn’t have wanted to marry her and make her a happy wife.
We could have had a country life….
With a cat who catches mice and two lolloping hounds.
Taken long walks against strong winds and seek’n shelter in the carved out hollows of sunken ships, on low-lying beach.
So that we might hide from the world and then burst out in Spring!
Pass’d Winter nights swooning over the fading moon through our slice of window pane, wrapped-up in thick blankets the weight of hay stacks.
Tea at different times of day and different kinds too.
Loose-leafed, ginseng,
nettle, fennel,
Tetley’s. You'd sing.
Think of it - you in the drawing room reading. Me in the living room pleading to be paid attention to and writing.
No babies.
We could have had it all. Moved away from here. And I could've carried you over the threshold with some help from a stranger. It would've been poverty-stricken bliss
(I'd hide the bills.)
But alas, you found her and I found him and we’ll be better off with them.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Warming thoughts for coming Winter

Cat scrambles up tree chasing after squirrel. 

Her tails whips around the trunk

Squirrel’s tail twitches furiously round and round

The chase becomes a mad scramble. 

Does she catch him? 

Claws and fur.


I have been inundated with books. It’s no bad thing but I need to make time to read them all. No examination coming up. But lethargy is a killer and I always moan that I want to be learning something so I should bloody well open up my brain to all the words. 

It’s autumn now and winter tomorrow. The outside weather makes us all want to stay inside. This happens every year and still it’s unpredictable for me, difficult to commit my heart to. The reason is because it’s unwanted, when it’s getting sunnier and warmer it’s easy to expect it in fact you can’t wait for it. 

I love summer. Friends invite more people out in the summer. We all went swimming in a pond once, no twice. The muddy cold fresh water of Hampstead Heath, leaves stuck to the hair and algae skin. A tiny pool more like a contemporary puddle in the midst of skyscrapers and the new Google outfit, we shared the water with ducks and ran screaming in to a sauna that looked like a barrel.

You can think fondly of those things because it’s life affirming. Exhilarating. But now. Now it’s wet and cold and a political shitstorm so, why would we choose to get out of bed. 

Hole up and read for the winter and eat warm nuts and soup. That’s the life.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Childhood memories of transport links

I have always lived near transport links. My earliest memory is of the kalang kalang of a railway barrier, slowly but surely reclining its black and yellow arms to come down across the road so that the people on bicycles and feet would stop. Trains tore passed – kalang kalang whoosh judder kalang ROAR.
I think I thought, in my tiny confused state that we were on the move. Or about to move. I mean to be fair, we did move quite a lot. 13 times in my lifetime so far, and I think I stopped counting at 16.
But as a baby on my bed I could hear the trains on the tracks. That faraway kalang kalang was like birdsong to me but more regular and constant, like a woodpecker maybe. I liked hearing it in the distance burgeoning as I got closer (this is when I had grown older and larger) taking it as given that I could walk to the shops alone, head thrust skyward.
Stations I feel comfortable in are in the middle of nowhere. Like that two-storey flat we lived in overlooking a dank railway bridge made of muddy coloured brick with all the vines and weeds sprouting from the top of it. Placed between deep countryside and a Green Belt that station was a lone platform. Tickets £2 in to town, return.
In the autumnal red and golden brown, I’d cross the bridge with keys jangling in frost-bitten hands to fumble with the lock. Sunset. Bedroom under heaped-on covers I could feel the tremors from the cargo trains as they passed under through the dead of night. I liked vampires back then so maybe there were bats under there or a gothic station master waiting for the red signal that never came.
Imagination never stopped with train stations and all that waiting. The trains went past with regularity and that gave me hope because I knew people were travelling places and I could sit still and be there to listen. Is that strange? I never felt tempted to board one or to escape because that noise of transience made me feel at home.
Amazing stillness, forethought and possibility at stations when everyone else is moving rushing on ahead. I think I’ll wait for the next train. There’ll probably be another one.