Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday extracts: perfect storm

IT BEGAN, as the greatest storms do begin, as a mere tremor in the air, a thread of sound so distant and faint, yet so ominous, that the ear that was sharp enough to catch it instantly pricked and shut out present sounds to strain after it again, and interpret the warning. Brother Cadfael had a hare’s hearing, readily alerted and sharply focused. He caught the quiver and bay, at this point surely still on the far side of the bridge that crossed Severn from the town, and stiffened into responsive stillness, braced to listen.

The Sanctuary Sparrow
The Seventh Chronicle of Brother Cadfael
Ellis Peters


Seems fitting, given the current weathr conditions.
I hope all's well in North Yorkshire aftr the floods.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Yesterday I saw a leaf, just one, drift past me as I walked.
It fell to earth, still green, but dry-looking and slightly wrinkled.
An omen of autumn; for while the sun is still bright, it is low in the sky
And it has lost the heat of summer.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Going to the beach

Scarborough colonnade

Everyone knows what you do at the beach: it’s all to do with sandcastles and paddling and eating ice cream. Well it is if you go there on holiday. But if you live at the seaside it’s different. For one thing you don’t want to share it with hordes of other people who come to stay and spoil the view and get in your way and don’t understand what it’s really all for.  People who sit in the sunshine with knotted hankies on their heads and expose their pasty, factory skin until they turn pink as peppermint rock, then slouch painfully back to their B&Bs with sand in their shoes and soggy knees where they didn’t turn up their trousers quite far enough before they waded in. They always look dejected as they return to their evening-meal-included and no-children-in-the-bar. Not like us.

We avoid the beach in summer. We wait patiently from Easter to October for them to leave, and then we have our fun. They never walk alone along the sand, leaning into a biting northerly wind, wrapped in woolly hat and scarf but smiling as the ocean air fills their lungs to bursting with life-boosting ozone.  They never see waves crash against the concrete defences and rise high over the railings before landing smack back down on the walkway. They never laugh and run, backwards, away from the torrent, to escape with just a smattering of spray across their faces, licking their salty lips, before turning, content, towards a harbourside café where they buy Bovril or hot chocolate and wrap their hands around the mug for warmth,  matching the glow of delight already rising from inside.

I'm a bit busy at the moment and I'm not sure if I'll have internet access so I'm posting some things in advance. This was written a few weeks ago for Thinking Ten.