Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I'm aware of my breathing, fast and shallow as I recline on the settee. There's a slight but uncomfortable heat where the back of my bare legs are in contact with the warm leather. My head is tilted to one side, the closeness of my ear to the seat-back allowing every tiny movement of my body to be amplified. I can hear my hair rustling, and think how strange that is. It feels like my senses are both heightened and dulled all at the same time.

With my head like this, all I can see, my entire vision, is on the other side of glass. Summer is approaching fast, and countless shades of green ripple gently as everything strains forward for the Sun's attention. A deep parallax of verdancy, from the cropped grass on the ground, through dirty nettles and tight shrubs, to streamlined conifers and taller trees, with the gaps of sky inbetween sometimes being obscured by even more trees behind.The overhang of the taller trees creates a darkened thicket nearer the ground, and it is this shrouded backdrop that highlights the activity in the air. Hundreds of gnats and other insects can be seen going about their business, reflected brightly in the sunshine. Tiny leaves swing to and fro, caught in long-abandoned cobwebs, and ever-nervous birds survey the goings-on from a bough.

If all of this activity has a soundtrack, I am oblivious to it, hearing only the sound of blood rushing in my head, and still the rustling of my hair.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rest Stop

The fire escape is old, but has been repainted in dull primer, hiding the rust. She steps out of the window onto the metal platform, dressed for the sudden onset of hot weather in a short denim skirt and brown vest. Work is dispatched first, with an array of humdrum washing being arranged carefully on a drying rack. Then comes the reward; five short minutes spent in the warm sunshine. She sits on a step of the metal stairs, attempting to light a cigarette in the gentle breeze with a rhythmic click click of her failing lighter. Eventually the end glows satisfyingly and she pockets the lighter. With the nicotine comfort coursing through her she relaxes further, and sliding down an extra step her feet are now propped against the lip of the platform. A lovely posture. The cigarette is finished and she dreams she were far away from here. Far away from terraced housing and a weed-strewn garden. She tilts her head back and the sun tickles her throat. She wishes it was soft water from an azure sea. A thoughtful smile brightens her hard-working face for just those last few moments. She stands up suddenly and steps back through the window opening. A soft click of the latch, and she is gone.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I'm sitting here, plain T and jeans. Johnny Cash is looking at me in craggy black and white. So is George Harrison, and Kathryn Williams too. A stag party from last year (me included), sits next to a school photo from 20-odd years ago (me included). James Stewart peers at me through binoculars. Dido sits in a taxi wearing a military jacket, whilst Margaret Lockwood, looking cute as a button, enjoys a joke with Alfred Hitchcock. Keith Moon clutches a champagne bottle, and I get to eat beans on toast. With grated cheese.