Friday, 18 August 2017

I Wrote A Novel, But Then Was Distracted





I wrote a novel, then I published it. Then Mr bought me a strimmer, just at nettle harvest time. And the tomatoes were red, grapes purple-black, runner beans rough green - our garden, a bounteous mess - I don’t mind, nor do I mind the work. Time squeezed can also be savoured. How the novel was finished is a mystery. I have started the next one, equally baffled.
This day is sewn in with summer birds, silky light, a fat twine of pigeon, edged in cloud.
Rustling green shadows, one escaped Next Door chicken pecks and is wary.
I can’t manage to publicise my own novel, chook, recapture is unlikely.
I can’t even get in the hammock, I’m lying on the ground under a broken sun umbrella, watching it rotate like a snapped flowerhead.
Dog is slunk into shade. Chook and me in sun. Mr is noises in the shed.
Birds drop flight for a noon rest.


The next days, our weather is changeable. 
Between rain and sun, machines stand in half cut fields. 
Some bales are stacked house high. Others make good seats if you don’t mind a damp backside, or the odd stab of hay. 
It’s too warm for coats. My shirt is getting slowly heavier. Through rain we see deer spring, a buzzard wheel. Crows hustle, ground level, ungainly - you all ready look fat, I tell them, as they stuff crow-craws with spilt wheat, ignoring me. Dog breaks up the Dickensian struts, they fly away with habit, not panic. In the air they have skill, and the dare to hassle a buzzard. Once, only once, did I see the buzzard drop, strike, end the crow’s game. 
Two rainbows appear.
Will there be sun?
Not yet!

Still, the washing could use an extra rinse. Yesterday evening we saw sun and our clothes are stuck with sand.
Ah, yes, and I should just mention: I wrote a novel, then I published it.





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Friday, 4 August 2017

View From The Tunnel





I see there are too many ants. 
In themselves of no harm, but a propensity to farm aphids which leach sap. I worry for my basil harvest.
I see hedge sparrows hop in, peck up ants. 
They bend a tomato branch, knock a lime fruit to the ground - but they are organic pest control. Homegrown too, born in our own hedges.

Ants don’t like peppermint or bay leaves, so there’s some of that scattered also.
They pull back in haste - I picture their faces contorted in revulsion.
If you could see the big picture, ants, I say… but then - I’m sat looking down the polytunnel.
Maybe it’s a microcosm, maybe it’s just artificial.
Either way, I cut back the rocket and nasturtiums, uncrowd cucumbers.
(I made a raw ketchup from this: Mr not keen: me, green teeth.)

Grapes are pouring from the vine this year. A bee skirts them, busy in a thick coat, in this heat!
He ignores the bee drink station, too busy. I fear he will spark fur with kinetic frenzy, burn up, sparkly at first, fizzle out, reduced to crunch.
Will he?
The trick is, bee, I say, to stop at sparkle. I will be saying this to the grapes too no doubt.

Up push pepper plants, may they flower with equal vigour. We are late in season but the bees are keen to help. Tomatoes darken: if I darkened green it would not make red.
Everyday, rainbow miraculous!
One pink radish has one bite from it - whatever was here got a mouthful of radish fire and retreated.

Bee does his nasturtium round. 
White buds on lime branches. 

Bold yellow on melon vines.
Up comes basil, ant-free, purple and green.

The weeding never stops, why would it?
Sit for a coffee dear, I say, before you exceed the sparkle.
I sit.
I look.
I note.