Saturday, 2 May 2009

Autumn 3

I do not know if The Four Seasons is the worlds most popular piece of music but it does seem to pop up again and again - films, adverts, supermarkets and telephones even. My favourite part is the slow part in the middle of Autumn (about two minutes into this clip) . Which is about now in fact. The music echoes the world outside, the wet mouldering dampness, the slow dripping from the leaves and branches. The smell is rich and earthy and there is movement, constant hidden movement in there as well. I say it every year but then I notice it every year at this time as well. The earth is alive. All of it, and I am but one small part of this giant organism.

We have not seen Buffy the cat for two days now, which is unusual for her. We have looked around, asked the neighbours and informed the SPCA and the local vets. There is nothing to do now except wait.

I hope that the earth looks after her.

Sunday, 26 April 2009


Sunday 6.53am

Porridge always reminds me of snow. When I was younger, as soon as the first few flakes began to drift down, if it was a school day my mum would be up early making porridge. I would wake to the distant clonking of the wooden spoon on the side of the pan and the radio talking away in the background as she listened to see if schools were open or closed and if the buses were on time. After a while she would pop her head round the bedroom door to say "don't rush to get up, it's been snowing there'll be no school". I would already know about the snow as soon as I opened my eyes - the light is different. Even through the curtains you could see the brighter than usual whiteness outside and of course it was also oh so very quiet out there . . . . just the occasional hiss and crunching sound of car tyres as someone slowly went off to work.

Downstairs the kitchen would be warm with an orangy yellow glow, slightly hazy with condensation from the kettle and the porridge glooping away in it's pan. My mum is traditionalist and so our porridge was always made on the stove with just rolled oats, a pinch of salt and water. Into our bowls it would go in big ladlefuls, milk would be poured round the edges and white sugar piled on top so you ended up with what looked like a small snow capped volcanic island in a milky sea. It was so hot that you could only eat from round the edges and because the bowls were cold, if you poured your milk carefully your island would float and spin around. Nowadays I just have milk, no sugar but I still feel happy if I can get my island to float on the milk.

And then once we were finished, my sister and I, mum would want us out of the way so she could tidy up. So it was off outside for us dressed in jumpers, duffle coats, knitted gloves and welly boots (gum boots you might call them). And the world outside would be crisp and white and still and our cheeks would soon glow and burn with the fire of life within us as we rolled giant snowballs, the biggest ever . . . .

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