Thursday, June 30

Fatty's nemesis

Last night there was yowling in the spaces between my dreams. This morning I find opaque circles of crimson on the tiles near the cat-flap, where Fatty watched his nemesis through the scratched plastic and dripped liquid from a hole in his neck. His fur is matted, and when I try to cut it away with nail scissors it releases a cloud of dark dried-blood dust.

Wednesday, June 29

Hello Mr. Bird

The birdsong is competing against the children's squeals, running around the playground after their packed lunches. The birds trill a high-pitched 'wirrup, wirrup', making full use of their knowledge of harmony. The children chant 'Hello Mr. Bird' in unison, the vowels drawn out, their inflection exaggerated. They could be saying Mr. Birch or Mr. Burg but I imagine Mr. Bird anyway, with his skinny limbs and long pointed nose and his cloak flapping behind him.

Tuesday, June 28

Important things

This morning I avoided writing my journal because I had more important things to do. I wrote it anyway and discovered something important about myself that I didn't know. So difficult to tell the important things from the important things.

Monday, June 27

Sunday, June 26

Where it all begins

A father is explaining to his small son how much money he costs him when he comes to stay for the weekend - it's £15 for the train ticket, and he has to make two journeys, and then there's the food, and the presents... Later on the little boy says that he's thinking about saving up the £20 his father has given him to buy a light sabre. He doesn't say what he'd be saving up for.

Saturday, June 25

A day of work

...and Carver has already found my small stone for me.

Work

Love of work. The blood singing
in that. The fine high rise
of it into the work. A man says,
I'm working. Or, I worked today.
Or, I'm trying to make it work.
Him working seven days a week.
And being awakened in the morning
by his young wife, his head on the typewriter.
The fullness before work.
The amazed understanding after.
Fastening his helmet.
Climbing onto his motorcycle
and thinking about home.
And work. Yes, work. The going
to what lasts.

Raymond Carver

Friday, June 24

Someone, anyone

The lady in front of me at the bank is so pleased to be asked by the cashier (someone, anyone) how she is, that she tells her about her husband in the hospital, who has Alzheimers. It is 'kind of a bereavement, but not'.

Thursday, June 23

Tomato plants

They've gone thirsty all long hot day. They reward me by releasing a cloud of their scent into the air - musky, full-bodied, sweet.

Wednesday, June 22

New girl

sitting on the shed roof three doors down - a pretty young cat wearing a bright pink collar. She is as white as freshly-cooked rice.

Tuesday, June 21

Zamioculcus shadows

Across the corner of a lilac-painted wall the sun has cast the shadows of pot plants - a zamioculcus, and something green and leafy with no label. The leaf motif is repeated, overlaid, in carefully-cut-out layers of grey tissue paper. A van passes and wipes the pattern clean.

Monday, June 20

Heard on the radio

At the end of this classical piece the score asks the musicians to hold their instruments in position for several beats before they lower them. The whole orchestra plays silence.

Sunday, June 19

Morning drive

Perfect sunshine. I emerge from a shade-dappled avenue of trees and the landscape opens up into fields of green wheat and grass. I catch a glimpse of a strip of pale purple, pull off the road to have a better look. It's a candy-coloured field - maybe this is where they grow the violet sweets they wrap in twists of plastic. I click off the noisy radio and hear a song written for two thrushes and the wind.

Saturday, June 18

Set adrift

The mist this morning is exactly the same blanched-almond colour as the sky, and so the tree-tops on the horizon are floating, set adrift from their roots.

Friday, June 17

City river

The surface is flat and dark, with a beard of frothy scum where the river-bed drops. I sit on a tired bench between bird shit and an empty rizla packet, trying not to look at the puddle of sputum someone's coughed up on the pavement. Across the river an old black man is jerking his way along the path, his skin the same colour as his suede cap. Maybe he's drunk, or maybe he's stopping every so often to take in the morning. The reflections of red brick buildings shimmer but hold their places. The water is moving.

Thursday, June 16

Pavement treasures

Butter-yellow petals like shards of burst balloon. The back of a crisp packet - a midnight-blue mirror dotted with raindrops. My feet, splashing through the puddles.

Tuesday, June 14

Looking for something else

While looking for something else, I find these words: 'Bloom where you are planted'.

Monday, June 13

A rectangle of wrapping paper

...pinned to a work-station with a cherry-red pin. On it float twenty six small Japanese girls in red, orange and pink kimonos. There are high-lights in gold that shine when you tilt the paper. The little girl's eyes are smiling.

Sunday, June 12

Home again

and everything where it should be. Toffee cake and coffee waiting patiently on the other side of a nap.

Saturday, June 11

Sniff it

Nose close to the ground, deep in the sweet vegetable smell of grass. The aroma hovers here all day like heat from sunburnt skin, waiting for faces to dip and sniff it.

Friday, June 10

Silver

She lies belly-up, smiling, a curled paw shielding her closed eyes from the sunshine.

Thursday, June 9

Empty room

A room full of batik-patterned sofas: orange, brick, aqua. They are sagging at the edges. Their stuffing is soft, it moves aside to accomodate weight. There are seven deep hollows where bottoms sunk and rose again, got up and left the room.

Wednesday, June 8

Walking along the river

We are two small people in a sweeping landscape. We leave the path to walk through the high grass and be closer to the river. In a small clearing of flattened grass bordering on the water there is an old brown suede jacket half-covering a full plastic bag, the top folded over. I want to look in the bag. I choose not knowing.

Tuesday, June 7

Close-up

A man is singing into a microphone on a music channel. Singing hard, his voice hoarse. Close-up: you can see the triangular chips in his teeth, the open pores in his skin, the straining tendons in his neck. Sweat is forming, tiny drops of dew on his cheeks. His face isn't the shape it ought to be if he wants to be seen as beautiful. His gums jut forward, there are deep creases around his eyes. The camera is loving him. He is beautiful.

Monday, June 6

Sunday, June 5

A black cat

A black cat is stretched out by the side of the road. There is red at its head. A heavy cloud of grief hangs over it, waiting for its owners to find it.

Saturday, June 4

Standing room only

Sunshiney 1970s music on the radio, 'I want to ride on your bicycle with you'. It's standing room only for the dog daisies on the roundabout.

Friday, June 3

Early morning birds

A tiny wren perches on a roundabout sign, clinging on with weeny toes. A few metres later a lady pheasant, dappled and speckled brown, sits comfortably as a cat on the top of a streetlight. They watch the cars go by.

Thursday, June 2

Greedy

Driving to work this morning I looked up at my neighbour's guttering for the first time ever and saw a stuck tennis ball. I looked up at all the other gutters on my street and the next and the next but no more tennis balls, or anything else.

Wednesday, June 1

Rain

Rain used to be just rain. It got me wet. It covered up the sun with its grey skirts. Now rain feeds my plants for me. No need for a tap or a plastic can. It gets inside my fragrant coriander, my sinewy rosemary. It prepares my tomato plants for letting out fat red pockets of juice. This rain kisses my face when I walk outside.