6.19am, I wake knowing my tall daughter is sleeping next to me. it takes me a while to figure out the day and the reason. 6.20am, I realise I’m 48 years old.
She’s always been able to sleep through anything but I still get out of bed without stirring the covers of making a sound. She sleeps on with long arms sticking out of my short clothes.
the stairs are different.
walking through the front room, light flooding across the floor, my son sleeps stretched out on the day bed with his back to the window. I pad past him because he is a light sleeper but my saving grace here is that he is almost deaf in one ear. I hope the ear that I can see, cannot hear me. But I only hope that for a moment then I wish his ear was mended and he could hear. He’s been working nights, filming night shoots on a vampire film with film sets that everywhere he looks there is a story. He came here without going to bed for over 30hours.
I make tea. bad tea in a good pot, using a good cup and
a silver spoon.
the garden is already alive. wood pigeons coo all around, the smaller birds vie for a space in the morning chorus.
my over grown honeysuckle has a night scent as if it forgot it is morning and the sun is creeping over the house roof casting a blanket of bright morning light on to the houses and allotment wood where it will sink later tonight. if it does not rain, there will be first a glow where any jet streams will turn to swirls of expanding white against the blue night sky, then it will turn pale violet and pink and red to orange. the blaze often standing deep against the silhouettes of the trees.
it’s strange and beautiful how a birthday can bring family together. my mother brought me a real blueberry plant yesterday, so everyday I can pick the fruit for breakfast. it’s a beautiful plant now sitting in prime position under the row of tee shirts I washed for him because he’s been working so hard. there is a low lying wisp of a lengthened pale grey cloud floating in a thin line, heading right.
we haven’t done much. eaten bacon
sandwiches with buttered fat soft white bread, walked in a line of three to buy flowers, talked and laughed, mainly at each other, washed clothes and read the paper. it feels the same. a small family with a big heart.
in the taxi, she said, ‘it feels the same, after 3 years, nothing’s changed on the way home’ and that is when all the traveling, selling, moving, leaving, arriving, borrowing, scraping, comes to one point, when a grown daughter knows she’s coming home for the weekend and she knows that where ever she lives, this small place in Sheffield, will still be her home.
She doesn’t know but when I was painting the walls
I wished those words into the paint
and painted my wish into every room of this house.
Two nights ago, we went to see a legend. Two Traceys put on new shoes, long dresses and drove across the city to a pub on a hill to hear and see the awesome 73 year old Duane Eddy. The room was filled to bursting with local South Yorkshire (ers), - Tracey and I being amongst the youngest. I pulled her by the hand to weave
in between the tall people to be near the front and he came on.
Unassuming in a large Texan hat with a guitar that looked as beautiful as a 1950’s classic car, he was something I’d never seen the likes of before. The very first note went right through me and out of my fingers to Tracey’s hand, who I looked at and recognized had also felt the command of an art of sound that we’d never heard before. Duane Eddy played for over an hour with a great saxophonist with a beautiful face and warm hands, Tracey’s husband on bass, a number of other talented local band members and the talented and mesmerizing, Richard Hawley. The room was humming with a crowd who either knew the old stuff, like me were there to see a legend or to hear the band’s new stuff. But whatever anyone came for, it was a night none of us will forget - ever. I pulled tracey to our the long sofas seat lining the wall where we sat on its back and had a clear view of a living legend and could clearly see the loyalty of every band member on that stage
every day, I watch the changing light
in this corner of the room. each hour of each day it is different to any other day or hour
towards a man who makes a unique sound. They are the ingredients to make a memorable, grand and powerful concoction. Today, they’re playing at Glastonbury. Today, thousands will see and feel what we did in the back room of a pub in Sheffield – pure genius.
All week it has rained. After every day being full of rain, it seemed as if the weather was changed by a switch. Instantly, the radiating light flooded through the window illuminating a section of the chimney wall.
all in its path is lit in a deep evening glow. the crystal prisms hanging in the window frame cast their many rainbows across the walls and floor and from the oil painting, she looks demurely downward in her blue chongsam - the lady with the parted hair and loose curl at the forehead, looking sensual.
the prism-formed rainbows sway and dance in the evening breeze, a train goes by, a dog barks and I raise my glance from the book to see this light veil take form and deepen in a second, as if someone has flipped a switch.
flat light, switched back again.
I will wait.
I look at the wisps of clouds in the evening sky and the line of heavy raindrops hanging like glass beads and I think about a brave man who lived on the pavement of Parliament Square for over ten years and who, last week, sadly, died of lung cancer - Brian Haw
We should make every day count.
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