Showing posts from July, 2022

The Importance Of Losing When Pounced By Hyenas

Work continues on preparing the flat areas for seeding with grass and clover. We have a new routine of stopping at County Tyres to fill the van with their cast-offs, before getting to the land, unrolling one bay’s worth of weed suppressant membrane, weighing it down with one line of stinky rubber and one line of soil dug from the stony ground. By then we are overheated, feel like we’ve been dunked in vaseline, decide that will do for the day, and snort at ourselves for thinking all of this would be done in a few hours. Usually, we head home for a nap, but sometimes we have company. On this particular day, we are hosting a family picnic- the gazebo is up, some rudimentary furniture is brought from the stable, the cold box is unpacked, salad is chopped. Grandchildren 6 & 7 are here with their Mum, they are ‘helping’ which they are surprised to discover does not include rolling the tyres down the hill. Being made to attempt to recover the tyres does dampen their enthusiasm- G7 informe

The Gross And Wonderful Work

Thursday was hot like all the other days. Everyone had a warm glow like barbeque glaze. We had planned to go to the land but babysitting duties intervened. Grandchildren 6 & 7 (we have numbered our blessings) came to have garden adventures while their mother attended Grandchild 2’s Junior School Leavers’ Day Assembly. After surviving our lawn being lava, and an attack of maffive spiders (Maffive? Yeah, really big, Granma, maffive!) and this evening’s heat-hazed Tae Kwon-Do sessions (having returned Gs 6&7 to tell their tales) we, in the van, with a snoozy Dog, headed landwards, to be ready for an early start. We took a turn around the newly cut fields, soaking in the cooler evening air, serenaded by medieval music - minstrels at a nearby wedding, most likely, another celebratory moment. There were tiny bats circling a sycamore tree, there were evening primrose flowers glowing in the lowing light. Old Dog, loving the ease of the short grass, sprang into a joyful run; old limbs


I leave early for work, to get to the beach. I start each shift tacky with salt, and my head full of sea pictures; the green weed wafting, the crab shell rolling, the sand eels flicker-flicker. If we trek to the land we do that early too. I dunked Old Dog in a bath of rainwater which she calmly tolerated. The next time we brought her, she stood by the bath waiting to be cooled off; not excited by the new trick, just forbearing. Afternoons are for naps and ice cream. If we get it right our brains don’t boil over, they simmer and ferment. Days and nights are like the sand eels, they flicker-flicker. The moon rises tiger-orange, while the sun oozes down. Travelling homewards, sunlight stripes a tree tunnel, lights up trunks like embers like I’m driving down the throat of a fire-breathing beast.  Sleep pulls heavy, stealthy, sneaking in. We dream in silver we dream in gold. Morning arrives in birdsong, settles into a mug of coffee. I leave early for work. I swim. I write: Diamonds are ten

A Curative Dip

Gauzy strips of cloud drift, patterned wavy like the sand; the wind is no more than a sigh. Into the clear sea I walk, watching my feet on the fine sand, watching the gulls and their shadows swoop from cliffside nests to the smooth water, where they have both shadow and reflection. Sand eels dash below. A hermit crab hides in its chunky whelk shell. Sun shines through the water, it makes a net of rainbows. I swim slowly in a rainbowed ocean; tired, yes, resting, yes. Drift, but pay attention.  Ideas dip and dive, like the eels, like the light.

Kitchen Hygiene

30/6/22, A Thursday. Yesterday’s forecast suggested ‘light rain’ but the clouds clearly had not paid that much attention. Yesterday’s washing is sagging on the line, dripping like it's been dropped in a pond. We did not check the weather this morning; we drank our coffee, listened to the birds shrill, and lest this sound too much of a rural idyll, also scrolled our phones for emails and social media whatevers. We speak to each other too, Mr and I. This morning’s chat ruled out repurposing old carpets for suppressing weeds on the bare-earth areas on our land, due to possible contamination of the soil and transportation cost. We chose terram, a geotextile fabric, instead, which we will buy new but be able to reuse. We tog up for a land trip (which for me includes flower earrings, a pretty hair tie, maybe a polka-dot scarf; this is part of my fun-on-the-land policy, which in turn is part of preventing burnout), taking a tape measure to check how much terram to purchase. At the land