Month: September 2016

Bright Spots | Week Thirty-Eight

Celebrating the marriage of old friends (fourteen years and counting!!!) with botanical cocktails, aubergine parmigiana and plenty of laughter. Leaves underfoot. An hour talking on a bench in the village graveyard, speaking of the future (which seemed, at the time, appropriate…) Lemon queens (a helianthus variant) sprouting around the neighbourhood, swaying in the evening wind. Four days with my family by the sea. The view across the water from Royal William Yard. Walks on the hills crouched above Plymouth Sound. Giggles aplenty with my mama and Elle. Watching my little sister graduate, teary-eyed with pride. My sweet, sweet dad, who drove his feverish, cold-ridden daughter all the way back to her flat in Zone 2 to save her from the tube. The same dad who pulled over and turned around, without a single complaint, when it transpired said daughter had left her purse on the kitchen table in an uncharacteristic fit of febrile abstraction. (Seriously, thanks dad.) My tall and lovely musician, the best (tea-brewing, dhal-making, head-stroking) nurse a poorly girl could wish for. How contented I feel, happy now, looking forward …

Poem For The Weekend #58

I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I’d have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments and if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments. One after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in …

Bright Spots | Recently

Week 37, already, Google says – somehow, a full three weeks without scribbling down the week’s brightest bright spots. Despite this, my heart feels very full. I love this time of year, I love the slow creep of autumn. If I could bottle this time, this feeling, I would. I’d drink it neat, I would. So, bright spots, of late. Discovering a clutch of tomato plants growing in our front garden – mysteries abound (who planted them? who waters them? have they thrived despite months of neglect?) A lunchtime cookie so buttery its delicious grease ate through the brown paper bag. A dip in the King’s Cross Pond with my partner in crime/sister. Laughing so much at home, it seems we rarely have time for anything else. Iced coffee outside the National Theatre on a thirty degree day. How sweet he looks in a teal shirt. Waking on Friday morning to thunder rattling the panes, lightning illuminating the patch of sky beyond our window. Knitting a sea-green scarf everywhere – on the tube, during lunch, …

Embracing Autumn

Ten ways I’m embracing autumn, these strange in-between days. Cutting blooms from the hibiscus tree outside our house, stuffing them in glass bottles scattered around the house. Harvesting tomatoes, scoffing them – sweet, juicy, their seeds dribbling down my elbows – straight from the vine Roasting squash for tea (these, my friends – in a word: delicious.) Porridge dotted with juicy, unctuous raisins and almonds in the mornings. Cosy weekend afternoons, curled up with good words and chocolate buttons. Taking myself out for (hot) coffee on weekend mornings. Walking everywhere, now the weather has cooled. Walking through the rains. Deadheading the roses, weeding the borders, sowing bulbs: readying for the freeze. Knitting again, a sea-green scarf to begin the season. Tilting my face up to the sun, soaking in the golden light. We’re at the crux of summer; the days split between thick, oozing heat and days of damp, autumn rains. The air grows cold just before the downpours arrive, and at night a cool wind rattles through these suburban streets. You can smell it on the breeze. The …

Poem For The Weekend #57

Because it’s been one of those weeks. Sending a big spoonful of girl power out into the world. Illustration by Jem Magbanua. He tells her that the earth is flat– He knows the facts, and that is that. In altercations fierce and long She tries her best to prove him wrong. But he has learned to argue well. He calls her arguments unsound And often asks her not to yell. She cannot win. He stands his ground. The planet goes on being round. – Wendy Cope, Differences Of Opinion