Monday, 26 May 2014

Picking up pieces

In the aftermath of fire we are transformed, chameleon - like; subtly changing to fit into the spaces and routines of others. We softly tread, anxious not to disturb, mindful that for all we are amongst true friends, we are still transient, with all the etiquette this entails.
Unable to relax, I yearn for my own sense of space, for things that soothe and calm; for routines all my own. Waking in other beds, other rooms from fitful sleep has left me world weary; I long for an end to this peculiar exile.

This weekend I dispatched son and husband to family, and with determined air, a camping stove and a bucket, reclaimed my home from the creeping sadness of neglect that threatened to overwhelm it.
As I tidied, scrubbed and cleaned, the heaviness I have become accustomed to silently slipped away, restoring the connection with my own space once more.

Last night I slept curled around soft breathing cats, in my own bed, for the first time in 81 days. A hiatus of calm in these turbulent times, unsustainable whilst there is no water, power or sewerage to make return possible; yet for all that exactly what was needed in order for me to regain what has slowly been leeched away.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The early bird...

As sunlight breaks through skeins of stippled cloud; three young crows sit atop a lamppost, launching themselves in sequence to flap in long lazy circles before coming to rest where first they began.
On the lake below, a cormorant stands perfectly balanced upon a jutting post, its back towards the morning sun, spreading wings and feathers wide to warm each delicate strand.
Cautious cygnets take to the water, crowding round for comfort, paddling in concentric circles under the watchful eye of wary parents.
With legs splayed and wings awkwardly angled,a gaggle of geese come into land, skittering over the surface in a flurry of feathers and furious honking; kicking up the waves to set a flotilla of resting moorhens rocking.
A scattering of starlings appear, winging their way through the winding power lines above, heading for nearby grassland and the promise of plentiful breakfast.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

In the midst of life...

In the midst of life, we are in death.......... It is the spectre that creeps in the space between consciousness; unfelt by all but those whose life has been coloured by its still, soft touch. It is the darkening shadow in the weary eye of we who have danced briefly in its caress, returning home wiser, more cautious, to live another day.
It reveals itself in small moments, a stark reminder of our own fragile mortality.

A dead fox lies beside the carriageway; a splash of dried blood marking his demise. On the verge, a lone magpie waits to feast upon the carcass, hopping to and fro, wary of the rumbling trucks passing by.

 On the corner by a busy junction, a white bike hangs suspended high upon the railings; its frame interwoven with flowers wilting in the morning sun. A smile from a gently placed photo amplifies the sense of loss. It is but a fleeting glimpse; yet an image forever to remain.

Who will mourn the fox, whose body now cooled lies slowly decomposing, ripening ready to be carried off by carrion crows; or is the very fact its death does not go unnoticed, remembrance enough.

Friday, 9 May 2014

.... Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.....

Washing billows in ordered rows , throwing scattered shadows across the slow breathing bodies of sleeping cats lying torpid in the warmth of the sun. The sweet scent of jasmine perfumes a delicate breeze to freshen languid limbs as we sit in companionable silence, noses buried in books.
Lazy Sunday morning; brunch on the patio, time slowed ........only this is but a facade of normality; we are merely visitors in our own home, playing at everyday family life.
The sting of fresh paint and symmetry of newly hung pictures belies the turmoil of packing and unpacking, as we gather what we need in folded piles and disappear off into the night to while away the moonlit hours in other people's houses, other beds.
With increasing frustration we mark the tally of time, 63 days; yet still the clock ticks on in endlessly  mounting minutes weighing heavy from the effort of this daily grind.
Taps stand dry, switches powerless, and pipe work depleted. Only the silence of broken promises starting point, no end in sight.......

Monday, 5 May 2014


 My son lies sprawled in sleep; pink cheeked and arms akimbo.
No longer sullen teen,with glowering look and muttered moan;
 but a small boy once more.

 In sleep he transforms; tranquil and at peace;
 the sound and fury of the day forgotten.

As I gaze upon his sleeping form, the strain and toil of battled wills is all but erased;
 in its place the memory of sweet milky breath against my skin
and tight coiled fist curled round my thumb

Saturday, 3 May 2014

View from the bridge

The lake shivers as cool breezes send ripples skittering across muted waters; fracturing grey sky reflections and shadow trees. Coots ride the wrinkles, bobbing and swaying in natural rhythm with  clumps of soft swaying rushes, and the quiet fall of rain.

Up above, white smoke weaves its way through leaden clouds and the march of pylons striding past abandoned factories and rusting skeletons of an area as yet untouched by regeneration....
... and all the while tall turbines spin madly on.