Creased-white hands circle the plastic cup, steam rising into the cold damp air. Matching scarf and hat, woollen, fir trees, Christmas is due soon. “All right, mate? What’s it to be?” I can’t decide whether to go for the baking potatoes or the butternut squash. I settle on an apple strudel from the stall next door. And a small focaccia. I am nothing if not cosmopolitan.
A trip to the market.
Don’t let me in, will you?
That was my space.
What are you doing?
You don’t look disabled to me.
What an idiot.
The voice, with its questions and statements, is loud in my head. I keep my counsel, quiet the voice; shopping awaits.
Thoughts on a trip to Aldi.
A solitary bird, a crow.
My dog, Golden Retriever.
Bird hops, jumps, comes near.
Dog sniffs, investigates.
She wants to play.
A solitary crow, sitting on a breakwater.
It’s the first time I’ve seen a bird actually deliberately bait her. As soon as she started barking, off it flew. But only to a breakwater, where it watched from a safe distance until we had passed.
NaNo+ continues, with over 1,000 words yesterday, taking our main characters closer to their destiny.
The drab greyness of early winter paints everything with a dour patina, but the bright chirrups of starlings on the telephone wire bursts the leaden bubble and brings brightness to a dull and sombre day.
Sea, dirt-brown and churning, flotsam strewn along the promenade. Man and dog dodge puddles, seaweed, grey wood, plastic milk bottles, rope, dislodged concrete, carrier bags, and a dead gull. All of marine life, and death, is here.
Grey skies, dotted by airborne leaves, dry and husky. One cat, old and frail, looks at me with large eyes. He knows the mobile cat carrier is out for a reason. He tells me: “Really, I’m fine.”
Early-day shoppers, coats pulled tight around them, heads down, stare at wet and dark pavements. Bright-light frontages, welcoming and warming, tease and offer shelter. Coins are exchanged for items we didn’t know we wanted.
Strong sea forces have begun the long shore drift, moving tons of sand to heaven-knows-where, and exposing bases of rusting metal, rotting wood and crumbling concrete. How will these misshapen and broken objects protect our houses, our possessions, our families? But somehow, they do. The TV shows other areas, where the sea has broken through inadequate defences, and amongst the feel-good stories of pets rescued and Dunkirk spirit, are sad faces, gazing at ruined homes.
Blue skies and sun foster memories of a lazy summer. Bright greetings shouted between neighbours lift grey winter spirits. TV warns of a return to dark and wet days. ’Twas ever thus.