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Writings

Curry

I could smell it when I locked up ready to leave for my walk. Meat, fried and then stewed meat. Then the smell of toast. I could see that the light was on outside, then I heard him close his window. Phew. I could leave unmolested. It isn’t him. I just don’t want to talk, not then. I want to remain in my thoughts and face the blackness without small talk. He is a good man. I know this. And as a neighbour, perfect. Neither he nor his mother bother us, they keep to themselves as we do. But we know that they are there, like when he fell and I couldn’t get him up off the floor, and they know we are there too. It is mutual. I hear their TV (loud because she is profoundly deaf), the radio and his coughing, but they are not troublesome noises. Sometimes they are comforting.

I worried that it was dog poo. I’ve stepped in some before down by the harbour. Why don’t people clean it up? But it wasn’t, thankfully, just some mud. It is hard to see in the dark and my torch isn’t up to much. The wind was stronger than I’d expected and the sea a little raging. Nice though. The air felt clean and I could walk the Perygyl.

They’ve cut the tops of fir trees and stuck them in those holders above various shops in town. Why do they do that? I feel for the trees. They aren’t decorated just stuck there for the duration of the festivities. The smell is good but they will soon die. And for what? I feel torn about it all. I love the lights, the decorations, the fay extravagance of it all. I need its cheer. But there is so much waste too. Too much when so many have so little.

A black and white cat stares at me from a front yard of house along Llanbadarn Road. It has a bell hanging from its collar. I wonder if Reggie Kray has been found. I think of her, grieving still.

I came round the back hoping to miss him but the light was on and he was at his window smoking. You’ve been cooking, I said. Yes, he said, curry for tomorrow. I told a white lie, said it smelt nice and that it was cosy. It didn’t and it isn’t. But I’m always awkward talking to him. I take charge, bulldoze, hijack the conversation to compensate. He must think me a real oddity. I wish him well though. And hope that the curry is a success.

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Writings

Returning

It’s been a few days and I’ve been a little bereft not being able to write here. But it is back thanks to a kind wizard of technology. But I shan’t write more until tomorrow. This is the wrong time of the day – and I’m out of sync. Adieu. Till tomorrow.

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Writings

Timorous. Music box and crisp packet

The wind kept me awake last night with its howling and rattling. It makes me fearful, timorous. I walk in it anyway and allow it to buffett and badger me. I avoided the Prom, I neared it but it was too much. I watched as an empty crisp packet was lifted from the pavement and bounced and jangled along.

She said she was a journalist and recounted a story of buying a music box with a recording of Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns with her mother and how shortly after her mother died this music box started up of its own accord, not having been wound. And how it continues to do this whenever she is sad or thinks of her beloved parent. It gives her solace.

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Writings

Mother

I thought of her in my bath and as I walked. Could I have looked after her if she’d lived? Would I have gone out there to live with them? Could I have done that? Could I have cared for her, made life a little better? I would’ve been practical, met her needs and his, but what of the rest? Could I have stood her idiosyncrasies, her dyed-in-the-wool habits, her tongue? I loved her, I know that now, but it wasn’t an easy love, and compassion outweighed the liking, for I could not always love her. Life had made her often unkind, unless one happened to be a sparrow. I write about her, think about her, made sewn offerings to her memory. She is with me. But I wonder if it is she or more my image of her, not a shrine-like icon but something, some one I need to forgive, to re-love.

The small man I used to see working on his computer in his kitchen when I walked past in the early hours has gone. So has his little car. And the plastic cobwebs in celebration of Halloween stuck on the windows of one of the flats along Llanbadarn Road have also gone, replaced by some jelly-like moons and stars. Will there be Christmas decorations there soon?

A warm, blustery morning. The air smelt good, churned up. Another birdsong I couldn’t recognise, was it a nightjar?

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Writings

Back & Books for Baby

My dreams make my first waking hours a little grey. They colour them. I try to resist their influence but it is hard. I still move within them. The other night I was looking at my own back. I was studying it in detail. I was naked and I watched my muscles and bones move. A strong back, rather wider than my own. Last night someone was talking me through what books to get for ‘baby’. I’m not sure who baby was. Was it mine or was it me? She was quite bossy, this woman. The next dream involved another woman, one who had been invited to set up a drama school in Durham. She was excited and had given up her job to do this. I was in a canteen with two other women. We were on a journey and having something to eat before we set off. It was as usual, there were nothing for me to eat. They talked of getting a take away and I wondered if my stomach could hold out until then.

I’ve lost Radio 3. I’ve touched something and it’s gone awry. I throw a wobbly mostly because it stresses me that I don’t understand machines. Breathe and sort it out later. Trust. And it will be so.

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Writings

Missing

Ronnie Kray is missing. Ronnie Kray is on the run. Ronnie Kray is gone. Ronnie, the name I heard her calling under my window the other night is one of her oh so precious cats. She loves them. She carries them sometimes in a soft cage strapped to her chest. She takes them for walks. She has computerised tags attached to their collars. She will be devastated. My heart goes out to her. I hope he is safe somewhere in an outhouse or sitting by a stranger’s fire being fed. Another home from home. And that he will soon return. Cat’s are fickle, not like dogs. I wish him a safe return. For her. For her.

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Writings

Fib

Not quite sure why I did it. I think it was because I didn’t want to appear stupid. I should’ve been honest and just admitted that I hadn’t read it. It wouldn’t have mattered. No one would have cared. It was silly and I felt so for doing it. I went to confess to him. He laughed, hugged me and said it was fine and then spent the rest of the morning pulling my leg over it.

My dreams continue full. More about food. An empty carton of beetroot juice. And a lover. And that old familiar feeling of a desire never sated.

The wind wasn’t the 45 speed they had promised and the rain held off. I was grateful. I had my usual walk, well almost, a little curtailed as I had so much domestic stuff to do before breakfast. He’s just gone out now, all waterproofed up.

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Writings

Dartmouth Crab Company

I want to escape. I want to sit in front of a real fire with a huge pot of tea with my shoes off and my legs up on the arm of great big sloppy armchair. Can I do this please? Somewhere else. To be somewhere else where nothing is expected of me but to be and to exist and to observe.

I apologise to him. I am lucky and I am, in the main, content. But I miss the sitting in cafes and the people-watching and that just-passing-the-time-of-day sort of piffle. I do miss this.

My dreams come thick and fast. In the first there was a big white fluffy cat, no doubt inspired by my hearing our neighbour calling one of the Krays (her two felines) under my window before I dropped off. Then there was the cafe I was working in where there wasn’t enough food to satisfy the desires of the constant stream of customers and where the chef (a dead spit of my line manager at work) was not at all concerned. There was so much chatter and people sitting too near at tables. Then there was the baby. It was mine. I wrapped it in blankets and furs. And it spoke to me even though it was only months old. I don’t belong anywhere, it said. You belong to me, I said and held it close.

The Dartmouth Crab Company lorry was parked up at the harbour this morning. I thought that the fishing was ended for this year. Clearly not. Though I rarely see the fishing boats coming in or going out these days. I tried to pay attention and watched as a single leaf floated down from a tree on Llanbadarn Road and then noticed a cobweb, delicate and perfect, heavy with rain just under a light by the student accomodation on Northgate Terrace. They had turned off the Christmas tree lights in Sophie’s Cafe. And there was no smell of bread from the Pelican Bakery. Yesterday it smelt of fruit loaf.

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Writings

Car

The rain was relentless as I walked this morning. I got drenched, it even came through into my boots. It makes me a little cross. I try to fight it.

I dreamt she was driving us in a car. And some nasty people got in. They kind of wheedled their way in by smooth-talking. I didn’t trust them, she was more accepting. I was in the far back of the car (it must’ve been an estate) and suddenly there were loads of others in there with me. Who are you? I demanded. I started to plan my escape. But if I got out where would I go and would they chase me? I tried to call out to her to stop, to warn her but my voice wouldn’t come. I woke myself up with a strangled cry.

More work has come in just when I planned to work on my own stuff. It’s OK. It’s a gift for I was fretting about where the money was going to come from. I accept it gracefully and thankfully. I will find time for mine. Soon.

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Writings

Strange sounds and fresh breezes

The BBC weather forecast called it a fresh breeze. It wasn’t. It howled down by the harbour. It was like a rather bad, discordant percussion section – the boats rigging was jangling, clanging, ringing, knocking and all the time there was that interminable howling and whistling. It is rather magnificent but I wasn’t expecting it. Further into town and towards home garden gates rattled and a metal garage door clanked. At one point I thought someone was right behind me and turned round sharply letting out a cry. It’s the wind, it makes me jumpy. I’ve seen horses react the same, suddenly breaking into a canter, and chasing round and round their field. Earlier, while in my bath the radio went odd too. I was listening with real pleasure to a Haydn symphony and it suddenly stopped to be replaced first by a high pitch squealing and then by a lower kind of harsh white noise. It went on like that interchanging the sounds for about two minutes. I kept praying it would stop so that I wouldn’t have to get out of my bath wet and dripping to turn it off. It did stop and Haydn returned as if nothing had happened. Who knows what it was.

Sophie’s Cafe has a christmas tree up and lit. My second. What a joy. Thank you. Thank you. Especially as these mornings I can no longer smell the bread making aromas from The Pelican Bakery to ease me on my way in the dark. (They keep the door shut.) Christmas lights will do as a substitute. More please.

Now to work. Much to do. A couple more days then rest. And the rice fast will also be over. How I long for an apple. And real tea. (Just have some, he says.)