Friday, 27 April 2018

Pea Pot Plans





Air temperature rose and fell. People are reading this like runes. What joy, what doom awaits? I am not speculating, only trying to work out when best to catch up on late planting. 


The polytunnel is a steamy breathing earthy space. Seed trays are incubating. 

Peek repeatedly under repurposed plastic and crockery hoping for that poke of green. 

There’s one self seeded tomato - how smug it stands in the scatter of egg shells, though the nasturtiums tumble around a hundred times bigger. 

Lime shoots pee-oww from every crack of bark; we made soda from the first batch, it has a fresh-bitter bite. 

Dandelions are strong and fast - from their flowers I made a mock-honey. No wonder the bees love these florets!

Today in the dampness I felt that the earth was holding warmth, and pressed boot soles into soft clay-mud around the empty horse field - while Dog snuck off to feast on things unknown, hiding in the rising crops, sheepish in recall, wolfish in lip-licking.

Peas, I remind myself. I’m going to try some in a pot. 

I daresay there’ll be jokes. 





Monday, 16 April 2018

Minimal Bump




I get in the van, wiggle the driver’s seat - because today I am the driver. I check, I can reach the pedals. Note: headlight controller here, wipers there, horn may be employed by a palm strike, brake is the one in the middle - it is very much like a car, only longer and higher. And all we are doing is rolling merrily down the A30 to visit family, no stress of punctuality, no test to be passed. 

Emerge from drive, take the corner, no troubles. 
Take deep breath: it’s only a dual carriageway, not even a motorway, and there’s nothing exactly to be nervous of, not when you address the vagary. Tis only new, tis only the healthy worry of stepping into a new phase, of becoming Van Driving Me. 
Admittedly, when the window trim came swiftly loose and smacked the side window I was unnerved. But after we stopped and checked and it would not pull free, and we fixed it back with electric tape (all that was available) it was bearable. It might come loose again but would not be flying off and busting windscreens. 
The tape came loose. The trim slipped out. Again, nipped off to a side road, re-fixed. Rain came, washed the tape away. This time we found a town and a store and duct tape. This time worked.
The extra practice, nipping off and on the main road, through traffic and lights and roundabouts and roadworks, was a bonus. Van Driver Me was fine. 
So we went to the woods on foot, stomped in mud so Little Niece could test her new boots, so she could make friends with Dog and Dog could do that trick with a stick balanced on her nose, and we could find our first bluebells of this year and let stream water run over our feet, and look up through the spring-green leaves. 
We came back via the van, to show it off. What adventures you will have, my mother says. It has begun, I say.
Mr drives back, we are sharing.
I take pictures from our roaming vista. 
There’s work to be done, to make a home of it. 
We feel at home though; that has happened with minimal bump.









Thursday, 5 April 2018

Last Night's Sleep Was Interrupted







      
     Mr, having reduced his salt intake and increased his exercise regime, has gained some attacks of debilitating cramp. 

Nocturnal cramp. A midnight that bites.
Pained, not entirely wakeful, he spirals down our stairs to stretch it out - misses the bottom step, crashes into the oven, knocks a crock of fruit tea over the kitchen floor, breaks the crock, the best beloved iron pot that his Mum gave him, that I make all my syrups in, that we use every day, for everything.
Mr has sadness, cramps, and a bruised knee.
We throw bath towels to the floor, soaking up spilt tea. 
Put the broken pot back on the hob. 
Accident? Omen? We try to sleep and find it difficult.
Somewhere upwards of our bed the moon is waning.

Early morning mist and frost we see: we too are bleary, we too are cold. Coffee must brew.
It is slow, but the sun strengthens. 
Washing pegged to line. Wind blows fresh, not cold. 
Dog shares our restlessness so we go down to a field where primroses crowd the banks of a stream. I pick a pile of petals, breathe the perfume in; hold one to the sun, let the yellow bloom of it reach me like a tonic. 
Sunlight rides on the water.
I think about how light does that - floats on water but reflections on a wet road seem to sink into the ground.

Come home with a wet dog, a tub of flowers.
Put the broke pan out - maybe frogs can make a house of it.

Out with the old is the energy of the fading moon.
Making way.
The anxiety of tired hangs around regardless. 
Hook up my hammock: rest.