Showing posts from July, 2015

Two Rescues

Next-door have a cat, a great advantage in the discouragement of rats. But here on the ground is a fledgling; feathered, with wobbly flight skills, a wagtail chick. This should not be cat food. Dog pays it scant attention, until I pick it up. Then she gives a look that announces both her acceptance of the situation and her opinion that I am a traitor. The fledgling sits in my hand. It too looks at me. Tiny mites climb all over it. They dot my hands. I get some dust and a box to bath my new friend. It remains unstartled. There’s no further sight of Next-door Cat so the fledgling is allowed back to play around the flowerpots. Parent birds are watching. I am watching. It hops out to watch me. The urge to name it is strong. Next I find a bee afloat in a tub, and pick that up. It revives, and walks up and down my arm and will not leave until it has rubbed its legs and buzzed its wings back to health. I sit in the polytunnel, Dog lies out in the shade. The bee walks, it

Cooking For Camp

First pans on: no time for photographing after this! The first thing the grown ups say is ‘Remind me again why I’m doing this?’ The team leaders are thinking of the 5am wake ups, the number of times one child can lose a shoe, or need the toilet, or answer your question about where did you put your shoe with an anecdote about a hamster. (The shoe will be in the first place they looked for it, but not until you look for it too. Shoes are magic like that.) This year I am not team leading: I am on the kitchen crew. I don’t know what it is that I should be wondering why I’m doing it, it’s never been done by me before. Everyone should have a try at kitchen crew in order to fully appreciate the work that goes on to get the masses fed and the dishes washed. It starts and ends with heavy lifting. I’ve seen the bespoke field oven and the fry table and the gas bottles in place every year and never thought they were easy to shift about. Closing gap between knowledge and experi

Niece, First Viewing

Here she is. Petal pink, goosey fatted She had been dreaming of light A sky light A sky opened up for her Into air she swam; part aquatic part rosebud grown from the warm bed of her mother - humidity nothing for her but reminiscence - Her father breathes deep, for joy barely, for amazement She breathes: is moving - one thing to dream of light another to meet it - The singular miracle closes her eyes Sleep, sleep will make sense of it They will wake up, of course The new parents. To look at her. They have been dreaming of this light too. Here she is.

The Best Smirk We Have Ever Seen

This well earned smirk, caught on film. The car slides to a halt. All systems fail. A few hours later I am happy because I can move my head. But I was all ready very happy. These events are not directly connected. Or they are. Shall I begin with a beginning? The Chap, known then as Boy; although his sister being seven years his senior often led to the absentminded title of Maid, and I would pretend I had said Mate; since the age of four, had wanted to be a carpenter. Had his own tools, collected from birthdays, from approving relatives. Had graduated to power tools. Eight years an intended carpenter, this Boy, until the age of 12 brings him to a bigger school and a reconsideration. Carpentry will be a hobby, now, he says, he might be bored with it otherwise. He will become a Naval Officer instead. Okay. Mum is fine with supporting her children. Some things like committing atrocities she would not support, but this urge seems humanitarian. He mentions (in this order)

Comfort Baulks

We say, if he doesn't put his toys away, does that mean he no longer cares for them? They could be gathered up easily in a bin bag, bundled to a charity shop? I’ll get new ones at Christmas, says Grandchild 1. Okay then. (But maybe he remembers that time at the Eden Project when Granma took his ice cream away?) He tidies some stuff, it makes his arms slow and heavy. Somewhere on tv are his parents, dots in a damp field, best-friend dots drinking cider up and watching bands, holding hands, eating good food, good simple important stuff. We look for the blue tent. There are a lot of blue tents. Humph. Grandchild 4 has a bump, holds his hands up for Grandad. Gets cuddles. Comfort. We go to run in the park, the one that is just grass. It will be boring, Grandchild 1 huffs. They have races. He is the fastest. Look at this tree he says, it’s tiny, but it’s a tree! He finds a dock leaf for his nettle sting. The nettles are taller than him. He looks up, sees the sk