Fine on quantity

Thursday November 9, 2006

The sun came out to play today. Not the sort of sun you can bask in, exactly, not unless you’re quite well wrapped up, anyway. And not the sort of sun that’s too much use for drying pavements and evaporating puddles. It’s the job of a good drying breeze, is that. Even so, the sun shone, I sat for a while, face held up to the sky, and took what I could of it.

I hit Sainsbury’s at lunch time to find all the benches along the front of the building filled with college students doing much the same except that where I was carrying my lunch makings off home they were munching theirs right there and then. It’s astonishing how these kids manage to fuel themselves for a day on a couple of candy bars and a can of cheap carbonated pop. I seem to remember needing something far closer to the meat and three veg approach in my student days. They seem bright enough, though, and dedicated to their studies. It’s not possible to say they’ve got it wrong and we had it right.

It’s an observable fact that Autumn is running late this year. Many trees are hanging on to their leaves and, indeed, making new ones still. The grass is still green and some flowers still bloom in sheltered places. The colour of the Autumn atmosphere is unchanged, though, losing its vivid qualities, weakening its intensity. When the gales come—and surely, they will come, won’t they?—they’ll leach the leaves from the trees and the green from the grass, overnight, almost. Meantime, sitting in sheltered places with the remaining flowers you could almost believe it’s Summer.

Not to complain, of course. I’m making as much of it as I can. My quest to locate a decent park in Bridgwater has failed and that’s sad. Soon as I can I shall explore a little further afield, looking for a safe parking place next to a bit of the natural world that’s suited for a stroll beneath the trees, or beside the water. I don’t like the thought of using the car for that purpose but needs must.

It’s been a quiet day, though. Delightfully so. Graham took on the task of painting the downstairs cloakroom, which once was blue and now is white. Dolly stuck to her task of seeing just how much sleep time she can squeeze out of her busy napping schedule. I pottered around my usual daily routine. I made a special effort to produce a tasty dinner for Graham’s last night at home before the weekend and we downed perhaps a bottle and a half of a highly palatable Aussie white wine between us.

“Nice day?” I asked.

“Oh, yes. I like living here.”

“Good. So do I.”

Today’s OMPOWRIMO poem tripped out with remarkable ease, becoming a sonnet before I quite realised what was happening. I’m not sure about the quality but I seem to be fine on quantity.


On Spring
Spring is a long way from here,
tight-curled in corms and bulbs.
Held fast in sleeping buds,
nursed safely in root-head nubs.
While walking, head down against
the winter wind, hands thrust deep
in parka pockets I shall think of
them, guardians of another year,
custodians of joys unborn. Through
the dark days I shall place my hope in
them. And while winter storms whistle
overhead, rattling windows, singing dread,
I shall press my nose to the window pane
confident of the Spring that will come again.
John Bailey
Somerset, November 2006



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