Monday, June 30

yesterday's rice salad

the elegant grains stained pink by cubes of beetroot; a few deep fuschia, a few pale pastel, most a segment of the spectrum from dark to light

Saturday, June 28

The 18.10 from Leeds to Reading

When we arrive into Birmingham New Street, the train driver announces over the tannoy, there is a possibility that the train will split into two. There's no need to panic - sit back and enjoy your journey. I'll make another announcement in good time. We turn our pages in unison. The train is lovely and quiet, like a forest.

Friday, June 27

The 15.10 from Reading to Leeds

My neighbour vacates his seat. The train is heaving. I scan the crowds, hoping for someone quiet, someone who will keep to their side of the armrest. The young woman I get is large and spills on to my seat. She brings with her a good clean smell, like apples. Later a man dances down the jolting carriage as if he's at a rave. We share a look. I love her a little.

Thursday, June 26

Wednesday, June 25


Resting on the crypt, two white slip-on shoes - grubby, well-worn. Later at the side of the motorway, seven scattered boots.

Tuesday, June 24

As the tension slowly rises I feel suddenly faint with hunger. Somebody, feed me.

Monday, June 23

expiry date: 19.6.08

a single fresh-cream eclair in a sealed plastic carton lies by the roadside, weeping chocolate

Sunday, June 22

Sitting on the drive with a cup of tea

This morning the wind knocked over my cup of tea. It didn't really, but I imagined it did, and I felt exactly the same amused annoyance.

Saturday, June 21

lifting spoons and forks in and out of soapy water, clinking-and-tinkling, glinting in the light

Friday, June 20

Thursday, June 19


This row of trees with grey-green leaves is tinkling in the breeze.
I should know what they're called by now, but don't.
Google shows me hazel, lilac, whitebeam, purging buckthorn,
ash, snowberry, walnut, sycamore....
Much easier to find someone who knows these things, and point.

Wednesday, June 18

fuzzy burr - phew

not a tick to be yanked by the neck with needle-pointed tweezers, but a fuzzy burr tangled in his fur

Tuesday, June 17

the jeep in front squirts his window-wiper-water - a fine spray hits my windowscreen, the car interior booms with a pale green chemical scent

Monday, June 16

Apple Tree

The wren flits from room to room. The fruits are the size of cherries. A white drop of shit falls to the grass. His tail is wagging like a puppy's.

Sunday, June 15

Pond, Hartley Wintney

A long white fish circles the duck-house-on-stilts near the surface of the dark water. A mallard stands on one leg. I forget (again) whether the black bird with a red beak is a coot or a moorhen. His ball-of-fluff son follows close behind.

Saturday, June 14

White toast

It's not the delicious smell that suprises me as I slide the mottled golden slice from the slot, but the quiet frisson of pleasure at something so ordinary, so familiar.

Friday, June 13

Clouds blow across the ceiling of the sky. They cover the sun, uncover the sun. Cover the sun, uncover the sun. It is warm, too cool. Warm, too cool. I think of something I read in a book - a Zen master speaking to his complaining student. Eat the cold.

Thursday, June 12

in the wee small hours, unsettled, ill, I listen to the cars and think at least the raspberries are getting a good long drink

Wednesday, June 11

In between appointments

In between appointments I read this: This moment you are living is not the interval between appointments. It is the appointment. (Simon Parke)

Tuesday, June 10

On London Street

This is where they come to live when they get out of prison. Seen through an open window on this humid June day - an artificial Christmas tree, sage green tinsel, undecorated.

Monday, June 9


Fatty spots me at the kitchen window from the other side of the driveway. As he walks towards me we have a conversation. His mouth opens repeatedly, his miaows catch in the glass. I open my mouth too but without a sound - I'm cleverer than him. He's still talking as he pushes through the cat-flap.

Sunday, June 8

lying on the lawn in hot sun

the breeze ruffles my hair and brushes my cheek, the bristles made from cool silken fur

Saturday, June 7

I've always wanted a peony

I've always wanted a peony. Last year I noticed foliage in our new garden that looked like peony leaves, but nothing happened so I dismissed it as a weed. This year it has magicked three buds, deep lipstick fuschia. Exquisite globes.

Friday, June 6

Cramped tube, hot day

She sits her daughter between her legs and reads from 'Katie Morag and the Dancing Class'. Her daughter wears bright pink trainers, and grins at me when I catch her eye. I can't quite hear the words - it doesn't matter - she creates a mothered-space for us all.

Thursday, June 5

the bare silver skin of a billboard is selling just what I want to buy

Wednesday, June 4

Young Great Tit with grubby face

He looks like he's been rubbing his face on a piece of coal. I wonder if the young have different colouring - maybe his juvenile feathers are falling out. I google 'great tit grubby face'. The second hit: "LINDSAY LOHAN POSES NAKED FOR NEW YORK MAGAZINE ... Great tits!!!!! goldensunn said. ... Grubby tart. Needs a wash in mineral turps to get all that slap off her face."

Tuesday, June 3

The thatch edge produces a curtain of heavy drips. Behind, the lupins have dulled to white paint with a spot of black mixed in.

Monday, June 2

On the church steps

Her boyfriend staggers as if he's in a comedy as a drunk. Her hair is shaved close to the nape of her neck.

Sunday, June 1

at last

the goldfinches find the niger seed - one on each side of the feeder, peck after delicate peck