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This Winter

Poem by me, illustration by daughter. Some of the formatting has taken on a life of its own. Oh well.

This winter, we wade in paddy fields
With no rice.
I’ve never known the land like it
In my lifetime
Which grows longer, every minute.
Whether I do, or don’t.
It’s the only thing I know how to measure
As, relentless, hungry
We power up our earth’s atmosphere
Shooting carbon atoms into the sky.



Thickly-iced polar vortices spun by
Fatal fingers slam down the east coast

And purple heatwaves head south

Lost in smoke. And above the clouds

Clear air turbulence
Lurks invisible between every isobar
Waiting to send your in-flight meal, flying
And, still, some people wonder,
What any of this has to do with them…
Whilst in England
We wade in paddy fields.

Blue Beach Mud

If you look closely you might spot a few wading bird prints. When I was out on the foreshore taking this photograph I could occasionally hear the bubbling call of the curlew. It’s evocative. Of what, I can’t quite think.


When you are in a deep pit of doom…

…the obvious thing to do to lift oneself out of it (when all the usual suspects fail to work) is to make bunting.

The fact that I have never attempted the feat before, possess only minimal seamstressing skill and little practical aptitude for crafts are only minor hindrances to overcome. The idea came about when I was in a dance shop buying the second pair of Irish Dancing Shoes in a week, in preparation for my twelve trips to and from school tomorrow afternoon (see last Wednesday’s post if you care for an explanation of that one). The dance shop has a material concession in the right hand corner manned by, well a man. One suspects he runs up all kinds of sequinned numbers for ballroom dancers but he was a slightly aggressive shopkeeper for the customer wanting a few offcuts and a bobbin of thread. There are a lot of passive aggressive people out there you know. Watch out for them, they often come disguised as mice.

Anyway, the proposed bunting sewing activity follows on directly from demolishing a wall at the weekend; stage 1 of converting the mudbath that is the garden to something that the neighbours don’t have to wince at over the fence. Well, the neighbours on the left hand side anyway; I don’t think the ones on the right care.

Stage 1 is not yet complete as there is the small matter of half a tonne of soil to move which was held back by the ugly and stubborn wall.

Here’s some aspirational bunting, to brighten up the blog. There’s no need to have triangles all the time is there?

Tomorrow I might dazzle the blog readers with where I am now keeping my clothes pegs. Life – you couldn’t write it.