At The End Of Chapter Three

Words From A Work In Progress

Through the rush of lockdown (care worker, more hours, no furlough, more wages for the land fund though, pros and cons) my brain has been boggled with various challenges and writing has been done in tiny bursts, scattered about like seeds out of a himalayan balsam. Concentration is returning. This part-written book has bided time, but it is creeping back to pestering me for attention, which I pretend to be annoyed by but is a heartfelt homecoming. So here is a little share from the end of chapter 3, where Old Annish is reliving her second birthday. No context, no spoilers: the plot is mostly untangled now but it could all change yet.  *** In the first photograph she is cute, though frowning - the smiles around her are reassuring. Old Annish smiles too. She has always liked these pictures.
Early memories, she thinks, are pivot-edges, where stories you are told of yourself pitch into personal recall. It’s how you become real. Details, even if they aren’t accu…


Inaugural voyage of The Nancy-Doris, Tuesday 1st September 2020 [This morning in the polytunnel cabbage-white butterflies beat erratic: also many wings without bodies scattered the floor.
Early harvest for spiders: picture them in their web-hammocks, slurping from husks; like cocktails out of coconuts.
Hmm, says I, this is true: metamorphosis is beautiful not immortal; the cycle of life is also this, littered with wings, the memento mori.
Get writing, I say to myself. Write the books before your pages are blowing away and the tutting spiders of time are sampling your puree.
'Caffeine rich earthiness, layered with seaweed oil, a top note of lime blossom.']
This afternoon, task by task we achieved new things: lifting our kayak to the Dacia roof, looping straps, securing straps (quick prayer for effectiveness of anchor points), Check list: seats, paddles, dry bag, an emergency phone app for contacting coastguards, and so forth. Deciding what to wear as the weather blows cold, then…


Going With The Flow Isn't Always Bumpy

After work - no swimming. Just stopped by Porthpean to breathe the wild air, to drive home to a powercut, candlelit house where a glass of wine was waiting. 

The next day more storm winds blew, rolling apples down the lawn. Fruit boules? I was in the blackberry hedge, untangling thorny whips and gathering fruit. Dots of blood on fingers, nettle-stung buzz on my shins.  Ideas swirling about plotlines adding to the happiness. Pegged towels on the rotary line which may be a mistake but maybe (definitely, overcome with the exuberant purchase of our not yet delivered kayak) I lied when I said I wouldn’t replace it. I should re-use it, obviously; grow sweet peas on it, perhaps. Sweet peas, and ivy for the evergreen. Meanwhile the line has stretched like cheap elastic and I’m hoping the towels don’t land in the gooseberry prickles. Later I am sat writing, and hiding from the mess downstairs which will turn out fine because there’s a plumber fi…

The Best Twisted Old Rotary Line In The World

How Side Tracking Can Add Adventure To Your Life: a non cautionary tale.

We were supposed to buy a washing line, but the shopping cart contains a kayak. How did this side tracking take off? It was the wet towels that did it: but first, some recent history:
Sunday 9th August 2020 Home from work, straight home, skipping the beach in spite of the day’s heat because our garden has been populated with tents and family. Gathered at the top firepit, where tea was cooked, grabbed a sausage and a glass of house red, lay back to chat and watch for shooting stars - this being the time of the Persiad meteor showers. We forget how lucky it is to lack light pollution though we do not fail to appreciate the view. Every sparkling streak strikes wonder. It is 1am before Mr and me go to bed.
Monday 10th August 2020 A 5am thunderstorm had woken us after the 1am bedtime, and now it was stifling hot. After work the fuel light in the car sent me to a garage where I stared at the pump making sure the word I wa…

River Spa Break

Words On Blips And Kindness On A Life Journey

The Sage Routine

Words on Self Care in a Shifting World
[Diary extract] Continuing to feel calm with undercurrents of dread. This is the new normal.
I have had plenty of after work dips at Carlyon Bay, easily picking spots away from the gathered youths and the lone figures a-fishing for sea bass. The bar there is open now, neither busy nor empty. I can’t hear the music from the sea, only the waves.
Last time I swam a school of sand eels swarmed me, leaping out of velvety turquoise water in little flexes of silver under a sky smudged from mauve to orange. Gaudy in a good way.
I floated back and berated myself for such luck, though I have put intention and action into curating this, because this is how I honour life. It is important sometimes to chastise oneself, to shake out the demons of laziness and complacency.
But when the dread seeps in it is necessary to change this tactic, to follow the sage routine: allow it, see it, know it as part of the flow of change.
Give yourself the love you need. Small t…

Bee Bum

Words On Facing A Leap Of Faith 
Saturday 27th June, 2020
Heat has rolled us flat for a day or so, we are glad of the wind that is whipping clouds around, glad of the sudden dense showers. When I left for work, Mr was sat picking stalks off currants, outside under the gazebo. In between showers he is constructing a tarpaulin roof that will make an outdoor dojang (Tae Kwon-Do training venue) in our garden. [UPDATE: this design is back on the drawing board.] We are making enquiries about how to get water and power to a field we saw - which is scaring both of us because it is jumping into the unknown. Not love at first sight, this bit of land, but a realisation that this could be the one. If we don’t have a reason to veto, we are going to make an offer… Have another lot of land to view, meanwhile, keeping options open. [UPDATE: that land was another faerie-world bit of impractical loveliness, to which we are currently immune.] We are afraid but we are also saying, what else is there to…