Wednesday, August 31

Crowded

I've nothing against the pretty girl in heels and a clean white cotton dress, but when I turn out of the park and onto the pavement I find that we walk at the same speed. After we've shared the space for a little too long I slow right down and let her move ahead.

Tuesday, August 30

How do we ever catch our breath?

So many tiny and significant things have already happened today and it's only three o'clock.

Monday, August 29

Dog show

In the junior handler section, a small girl with blonde cornrow braids struggles around the show-ring with a dog much larger than she is. Her mother looks on from the side-lines, shouting instructions - 'tell him to sit! be firm with him!'. I have to look away.

Sunday, August 28

Late summer

A row of cow-parsley skeletons, standing much taller than a man. Low morning rays wash the brittle stalks in watery gold.

Saturday, August 27

Cheer up Matthew

'Cheer up Matthew, we love you'. Gold lettering on a pink sheet, rigged up on a roundabout.

Thursday, August 25

A handful of pebbles

the sliced-off top and the bottom of an onion on the pavement * a man with a lumpy face telling me 'it's a bit early to be writing at this time of the morning' * a cafe called 'Gorge with George' * small children running alongside the bay like dogs let of their leashes * a man feeding swans something out of a plastic bag * a big blue space around the sun

Wednesday, August 24

What I liked best in the Cardiff Museum

A sculpture of two skinny wolves - dark navy blue, mottled as if made of papier mache. The first stands on the steep dome of a hilltop, the second on the first's back. Claws out. They arch their elegant backs, their mouths are full of teeth like needle-tips.

Tuesday, August 23

At the weir

The black labrador throws his excited body into the water to lunge after ducks.

Monday, August 22

Naming things

Here's a chinese restaurant on an unfamiliar street called 'New Champagne'.

Sunday, August 21

Long walk

A small oval of skin has been rubbed away and the pinker layer underneath is showing through, like a hole in someone's tights. Every touch feels like a blade pushed inside.

Saturday, August 20

Heard through the bedroom window

Early this morning a man delivering leaflets down our street was whistling 'Take a chance on me' by Abba - the word would be 'jaunty'. When I came down later there was no leaflet - maybe he was just delivering a fresh snippet of tune to every house.

Friday, August 19

Sheep in the distance

They're trickling down from the hillside and converging into a neat line like ants, letting out strained baaaas as they go. Some of them pause from time to time - to get their breath back? to investigate a mole-hill? At first we think they're being herded by dogs, although we can't see the men or hear the whistle. When they get closer the dogs turn out to be sheep in disguise - a black and white one, and a black one. I'd like to know where they're going and why - I might want to go there too.

Thursday, August 18

Wednesday, August 17

Train journey

As the darkening fields sweep slowly past, I try to empty my head of stale thoughts.

Tuesday, August 16

On the Edge of an Island

The clean blue of the sky meets the striped blues of the water, where seagulls float like white corks. A woman in a navy blue sun-hat and a fuschia swimsuit wades out towards the sail boats. The sea sings

Sunday, August 14

Hurray for road-works

Because if a man hadn't held up a red 'stop sign' at me this morning I wouldn't have had a close-up look at the bright wild flowers on the verge. When I turned back to look at him he was grinning and his sign had turned green.

Friday, August 12

Dandelion

The circle of narrow petals is a splash of child's yellow poster-paint. It stands on my lawn so brazenly, I leave it be.

Thursday, August 11

A small boy

A small boy wearing a peaked cap and thick glasses is pushing his mother along the pavement in a wheelchair. He is maybe 9 years old. He isn't pushing her in a very straight line; they almost collide with a pushchair, an old man, the wall. When there's an upwards incline he slows down and makes a greater angle between his legs and the chair. Every so often he leans down and puts his chin close to her shoulder so they can talk.

Wednesday, August 10

Postcard from Poland

There are long shadows reaching right across the square, and the skyline is a little wonky. The trees are bare. People in long coats go about their business. It arrives long after the sender has returned.

Tuesday, August 9

Doing nothing

I prefer doing nothing after work than doing nothing after doing nothing.

Monday, August 8

Peacock

His show-off tail feathers have fallen out - he's looking a little bedraggled - but his neck is still the colour of polished lapis lazuli. I release a grey-blue frosted berry into a low arc and onto the grass. He picks his way over to it and takes it into his yellow beak, swallows. He circles us shyly, waiting for more. Has he ever tasted blueberries before? Will he ever taste them again?

Sunday, August 7

Mushrooms

I wipe the black clots of earth from their pale faces with a damp white cloth, as advised by men on television. They are clean and happy as they skip into the hot oil - they sizzle and spit their way to delicious brown.

Saturday, August 6

Small comforts

Two belgium chocolates. A pair of new earrings. A text hug from a friend.

Friday, August 5

Wind-fall harvest

A coffee-cream plastic bag covered in pink daisies and full to the brim of apples: small, sunlit, smelling of lemons. One cheek of each lime green round blushes to the colour of raspberry jam.

Thursday, August 4

Only sissies bite and scratch

The lady who swipes my groceries at the supermarket tells me about her son who is in the hospital. Last night his next door neighbour beat him up and took a bite out of his cheek. She tells me only sissies bite and scratch. In three months he'll need an HIV test. She calls out to an acquaintance who's passing by.

'Did you hear that my son got beat up?'.

'Yes, mine did too.'

I understand that it is a kind of competition.

Wednesday, August 3

Eating words

This novel about art and sex and money is nourishing me like lentil soup with brown bread and butter, like sunshine on my cheeks.

Tuesday, August 2

(she wasn't being silly...)

Small boy: chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter.... are you listening mum?
Mum: No.

Silence.

Mum. I'm only being silly...
Small boy: chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter chatter

Monday, August 1

Red

I pull on the prickly leaves and the first bright radish - peppery and sweet - adds its red to the world.