A pinch and a punch for the first of the month.
Where is the year disappearing to? Soon the nights will be noticeably drawing in and the leaves changing colour and before I know it I won’t be fifty anymore. That terrifying number that haunted me for almost ten months of last year, but which in reality has been nothing other than the harbinger of joy, depositing a multitude of gifts at my feet, will soon be that number + 1… somehow more acceptable, less scary, a known quantity, like a familiar, or a comfy pair of shoes…
I’m sitting at my kitchen island on my writing perch, a glass of chilled rose to my right, fags and lighter to my left, a scarlet fly swat within reach, (we’re plagued at present and I exaggerate not,) and I’ve been watching the birds in the garden. Two types. I’m no twitcher so I will merely describe, give an approximation of their heritage.
One is tiny, slate grey/dark chocolate brown with a long tail and distinct white markings on its wings and a white underbelly. They are ever present, singing me both to sleep and to awakeness as the sun crests in the east and free-falls to the west. They swoop and careen and loop-the-loop like world war one acrobats and chirrup and pause for breath on the telephone lines above our house. Their tails are forked so they could be swallows or housemartins but they also skitter over the lawn, bobbing and nodding like I imagine a pied wagtail would, pulling squirming worms from between the fat emerald blades, daisies and dandelions. I’ve looked them up online and in books and I don’t have a clue what they are. Maybe they’re long tailed tits?
The other make is not always here in such numbers. This evening there are around 200 of them, small, dusty brown and they’re tweeting like a pre-pubuscent choir on speed. They swarm like a bee-cloud, fly in formation across the field, whoosh onto the lawn, in need of a brakes or a parachute, blanket it so it becomes a dark seething mass. They up and arrow in a flightpath over the roof tops and disappear in a crowd into the huge beech a hundred yards away. Then, on a command, they rise on the thermals, stark against the sunset-yellowy clouds, like pepper ground over the pinking surface of a fried egg. They move en masse from gable to tree-top to telephone wire to ground and they mesmerise me. I’ve consumed half a bottle of wine just watching them and every time I pick up my camera and steal out to capture them, they’re gone again, a black blotch dissipating into a flighty flutter in seconds, then coagulating once more into a lump, then spreading themselves evenly, like a strictly choreographed dancing troop, along the whole barn-length of next doors roof. They’re utterly wonderful. Times like this how I love living here.
So… last week was the week that never was, while also managing to be the week that was always waiting to happen. I couldn’t write… I could barely think… at times I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But hey… one learns one is made of sterner stuff than one imagines.
The future: I’m going to be working one day a week from the office, (Monday) and one day a week from home or wherever I’m needed. Flexi… And the rest of the week is mine. I’m also going to be ‘hot-desking.’ Which actually means I’ve given up my office to my more full-time-than-me replacement. It would have been rude not to under the circumstances. It’s an interesting phrase, hot-desking, and in my mind it conjures up exciting images that include more of a rampant flirting than a studious researching, but I’m sure the reality will be more of the latter. Especially as I no longer have a desk I can call my own. To canoodle over someone elses in-tray and filing pile and to-do list would surely feel rather like fucking in your parents bed while they’ve nipped out for a Sunday afternoon drive, and not altogether appropriate.
It kind of makes me think about how we should always be making the most of what life has to offer in the present. I’m not always good at it myself and it’s such a crime. I worked from Turkey for two years and was always going to go explore outside of Istanbul… but never did. I’ve been travelling to Hong Kong and China for seven years now and only ever been to Shenzen and Shanghai other than the places I need to visit for work. Criminal… really.
So… Yes. We’ve finally come to an agreement, my ex-husband but still-so-present-business-partner and I. Finally. And it feels good.
There will be a period of hand-over… But soon… Yes… Finally…
I was sent these this week by Rebecca Swift who runs TLC and Literary Adventures see link on blogroll. Sweet Memories.
Some of the team
Last Night at Casa Ana
I’ve been listening to lots of good stuff. Mmm What should I share?
Yes… Chilled… Fat Freddie’s Drop- Thanks Isaac! Cool skanking.
and this… Eddie Vedder, wow has he mellowed since Pearl Jam days… soundtrack from an amazing film, Into the Wild, check it out if you haven’t already… Fergus has just learnt to play it so the house is full of it which couldn’t be more gorgeous. Incidentally, they’re all off on a boys own adventure climbing a mountain and fending off leeches in Borneo with their dad at the mo so the house is quiet, other than the cacophony of birds, the ever prevalent music and my mutterings…
Oh and I finished The Music Room by William Fiennes.
Can’t recommend it highly enough. Beautifully written. Imaginative, realistic, emotional, pragmatic, informative, truthful, spare yet poetic. Such a sense of place, of family, of love. A really good read.
Now am absorbed in and nearly finished God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin, a book I’ve been meaning to read and have had on my ‘waiting’ pile for sometime.
a truly original narrative voice. I so admire this writer’s skill. It is at once dark, sinister, disturbing, poignant and at the same time laugh out loud funny. What a gift.
I’m also enthralled by the latest issue of The Yellow Room.
This is a publication by Jo Derrick and I’m pleased to have discovered it. Wow! What fantastic stories. If you like short fiction, good short fiction I hasten to add, please buy it. My fave so far… Half Price Mondays with Helene by Joanna Campbell. It won the comp, and I’m so glad, ’cause it’s very, very good.
Go read! See you soon.