Saturday, 27 May 2017

Night Storm






This day someone had turned the technicolour on. 
We lift our sunglasses to check, and quickly put them down again. It is hard to tell colour from fire, flower from lava. 
Grandchild 2 is home with us, too poorly for school, and I too am feverish, though it is hard to measure when everywhere is hot. 
We need a sea breeze.
At the beach Grandad has good sandals for walking on low tide rocks; we do not, us Wild Girls, we put bare feet down on every surface, retract some, retry; then know the fullest joy in wet sand, in sea water swirling to our knees, all skirts tucked up. 
(Although on the roughest terrain, to get here, Grandad’s was the best hand to hold.)
The sea breeze is exactly as we had needed it. 
We paddle back, drink droves of fresh water; we drive home, windows downwardly wound, the little one sleeps and sleeps.
Later we go to work. The heat has seemed to dissipate. We come home, sit under stars to eat supper. 
Mr says there are not as many stars as he’d expected, maybe there’s cloud incoming.
So we open a bottle of wine, wander indoors, begin to feel sleepy.
A twitch in the electrics, a hiccup of light, a small clue only - Mr is shouting - ‘You have to come outside!’
Everything is lit.
It’s past midnight, the sky is flashing white - we can count leaves on trees, but their colour is drained; all the heat, all the colour has been drawn up to the sky!
We stand under the thunder, under the lightening, feeling each drop of rain, until the deluge comes - we can’t even open our eyes, we squint to the door. 
Blinds drawn up, we lie on our bed, rain dotted, exhilarated - the sky illuminate, the sky resounding; till we are dreaming gods and hammers, dreaming sea and sky.
In the morning all is washed green, and Mr has swallowed some thunder, it rumbles in his throat.




Friday, 5 May 2017

Cold Kitchen







First day, last month of Spring: 
Even the rain seems pretty, falling to fresh leaves, caught on bright petals; a water veil draping us. Dog has been hose-piped and rain-rinsed and still a trace of spilt wine sits on her shoulders. She cares not. 

The house is cold, a little in mourning - our way of life having shifted lately, with the demise of the Rayburn. One morning at 3am the carbon monoxide alarm sent its shrill noise upstairs; at a more civilised hour the chimney man came, and it couldn’t be fixed.
I thought Rayburns lived forever.
Alas!

So now we wait for the landlord to do sums and calculate an acceptable replacement. Most likely a wood burner will arrive, fingers crossed it will have a back boiler and heat our water too.

Meanwhile we have pulled the pillow draught-catcher out of the front room flue, lit the tiny open grate each evening.
Meanwhile we are using an electric oven, which ought to seem more convenient - but the Rayburn was always lit, there was none of this waiting for warmth. 
Things ferment half paced in an unheated house.

Meanwhile, in the polytunnel, a jungle of sprouting shoots wriggle under the weighty scent of flowering lime, a fat frog patrols for slugs. Down in the garden, raised beds are fixed with new walls, onion leaves spike, wild strawberries climb everywhere.