No sunshine, no worms, no breakfast

Wednesday January 5, 2005

Stickford, Jan 5,'05
Waiting for breakfast

I woke late, just around the start of official daylight, at about 8:30, to note a greasy orange smear along the horizon where the sun would have been on a clear day. It wasn’t a clear day, however, and the cloud sagged down within minutes to completely obscure even this failed sunrise.

“Oh boy, Harry,” I said to the little bundle of fur that’d mysteriously appeared in the crook of my arm as I stood at the window. “It doesn’t look too encouraging out there today.”

Graham went out a little later to fetch the steam wallpaper stripper from the garage, to return, shivering.

“Cold?” I asked.

“More miserable than cold.”

Ah well. It went on like that all day. Grey. Still. About as welcoming as an outdoor coat that’s hung inside the door on a cold, cold night.

I bundled up and went for my stroll about mid-morning. Not far, just to the end of the lane and back. Great clods of rich, fertile Linolnshire mud had been left on the road by a careless tractor, stretching from the field behind the Primitive Methodist Chapel (closed, dark and lonely, gradually falling into disrepair, too primitive now even for the most unambitious of the remaining Brethren) right past our house and on up the lane out of sight round the bend. I tried kicking one, carelessly. Bad move. Heavy, unyielding, and damaging to gouty toes. No harm done, but I sighed, discontent, and went on my way, muttering sotto voce about what a horrid day it was, how much I hate not being able to kick things… doing a good old grouse, in fact.

There was nothing in the day to lift the spirits here by the fenside. When I popped into Spilsby for bread and milk it was much the same, the air heavy and unmoving, filled with the sickly-sweet smell of over-boiled cooking oil from the main street chippie. An odd observation there—there’s nothing too appealing about fish and chips unless there’s a good breeze to take the stink of them away before it’s out-stayed its welcome.

All in all, not a cheerful day except for the one time when I exchanged a few words with a woman in the carpark, she seeking ten pence coins to feed the meter. Just as well she was of a mind to make a jolliness of it or I’d have renamed Spilsby the Town of the Living Miserables. Just for the day, anyway.

Back home Harry and I returned to our window, to look out at the sad, flat landscape under a sky that was not so much leaden as plain tired. Three plump blackbirds, made all the plumper by the cold-weather attitude of their feathers, sat in a ragged row, still, unmoving, waiting for a worm, any worm. They made a forlorn trio, looking for a breakfast that’d decided to stay a’bed.

“Oh, come on, Harry,” I said. “Let’s go and sit by the fire.”

A dismal, unfeeling kind of a day. The kind you’re glad to see the back of when the time comes draw the curtains over the window and turn on the lights.


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