Month: August 2016

Bright Spots | Week Thirty-Four

   Scrabble over supper. Cats lounging in the sun. Clusters of wild daisies. Falling hills from the car window, soaked in light made of gold. Nectarine and Cheddar cheese on crackers, the perfect summer snack. Dahlias at the flower stand. Golden hour from my perch on the train. Sudden squalls, pursued by evening sunlight. Summer breakfasts – I’m a creature of habit: Greek yoghurt, a peach or a nectarine or a helping of berries, a generous scoop of homemade granola, a handful of toasted flaked almonds and a hefty clutch of raisins. A breakfast worth getting up for. Thoughts of autumn – of cool mists, scratchy turtlenecks, cosy evenings, of knitting again. Of hot cups of tea, and time to write. But for now there are the handfuls of tomatoes, and ivory cosmos, and stone fruits galore, and dinner in the garden, outdoor swims, summer adventures with my sister – much in this present season to savour. Still, I’m looking ahead full of anticipation: more than any other time of the year, for me, this period as the pendulum swings from summer …

Time Travel

An autumn walk, Regent’s Park, November 2015. Matt, home in west London, winter 2015. Daffodils, home in west London, January 2016. Winter fuchsias, west London, February 2015.    Ashley, Soho, February 2016. Cable car, Singapore, May 2016. Greenery, Singapore, June 2016. Happy steps, Singapore, June 2016. Charlotte’s hen party, Cambridge, June 2016. Wildflowers, Regent’s Park, August 2016. ‘Strawberry shortcake’ roses, Regent’s Park, August 2016. Connor, Regent’s Park, August 2016. Matt, the secret garden, August 2016. A year’s worth of 35mm film, just developed. The best kind of time travel I know.

Bright Spots | Week Thirty-Three

The rain, heavy and thundering. Gelato on the streets of Camden Town. A blustery weekend with a full house at the Crescent. Our cosy flat, new rug in pride of place. Autumn on the wind. A Sunday supper of soy salmon and greens. My current read, started in a bookshop one lunch, bought by my Matt for me after I rhapsodised about its merits (oh, sweet boy who buys me books – you’re more than I ever dreamed.) Saturday’s picnic in the secret garden. Showing off the city to our favourite Americans. Japanese anemones, everywhere, all of a sudden. The patience of friends. Our ripening tomatoes. Campanula in the window box. The impending three-day weekend, and an escape to the country. Blackberries and rhubarb, freshly picked, stirred into yoghurt. Slow-cooked granola. The Columbia Road flower market, vendors hurling slang. Bike rides and swim dates. Change, just around the bend.

Singapore | Part I

At the very start of the summer I flew across Europe, the familiar arable landscapes of western Europe shifting gradually to countries further east than I had ever seen. We veered southeast, cruising over the vast steppes of Asia before soaring across the width of India (oh, such bright and unending celestial skyscapes I have never seen before nor since!) The plane swooped down over the Indian Ocean, hugging the coast of Thailand, then Malaysia, finally landing on a clear, moist night at Changi Airport. My parents greeted me in the arrivals hall, glimpsing the pair of us through a glass screen before they could embrace us. By the time we had retrieved our cases and hailed a taxi, the sky was already tinged with the first mauve of dusk. The twisting limbs of jacaranda trees lined the roads towards the city, a snatch of pale blue sea visible through their braided spines. The air was thick and humid, heavy with the scent of jasmine and frangipane. Already my preconceptions were knocked clear from my head – the visions I’d …

Poem For The Weekend #55

I want to grow old with you. Old, old. So old we pad through the supermarket using the shopping cart as a cane that steadies us. I’ll wait at register two in my green sweater with threadbare elbows, smiling because you’ve forgotten the bag of day-old pastries. The cashier will tell me a joke about barbers as I wait. He repeats the first line three times but the only word I understand is barber. Over the years we’ve caught inklings of our shrinking frames and hunched spines. You’re a little confused looking for me at the wrong register with a bag of almost-stale croissants clenched in your hand. The first time I held your hand it felt enormous in my own. Sasquatch, I teased you, a million years ago. Over here, I yell, but not in a mad way. We’re laughing. You have a bright yellow pin on your coat that says, Shalom! Senior Discount, you say. But the cashier already knows us. We’re everyone’s favorite customers. – Ali Liebegott