Tuesday, August 14, 2012


                              "This life disappears only very quickly
                                       Like something written in water with a stick." - BUDDAH.

I’ve been rattling around the empty house, unfocused, nibbling on bacon, Bram’s pate, chocolate biscuits (in that order) withering (and wilting) into a bland but persistent white fear about upcoming responsibilities, my psychosis, my job, my future, about being a mother, a teacher, a grown up generally. The holidays are ending. And they were too good to be true. They glimmer around me like a retreating lightning storm at the rim of the hills. I can still smell the rain. I am sulking. I want them back, please thank you very much.

Eventually I settle onto the bed in the spare room with the Dalai Lama’s sage "Advice On Dying" if only to remind myself of the impermanence of all things (especially holidays),  how important The Moment is and, although irritating, a virtuous mind.  These pious reflections are sobering and enlightening but seem to unravel spectacularly around friends. And whisky. As I discovered on Monday morning after a particularly boozy Sunday lunch chez Julie and remembered we had cut my hair clean and quite remarkably off. To just below my ears. I staggered to the mirror, giddy with horror and a hangover from hell, to discover, with lashings of relief, I actually like it.  It’s short. Very short.  And square. Very square. In fact, a little too square as Louise sweetly pointed out last night.

It’s time for another chocolate biscuit. Winter is still here. The hills are tinder dry already, heralding a revoltingly dusty summer season around the corner, the white heat days when the dust overtakes your car.  But for now, the jasmine is flowering and scenting the house, very delicately. There is sweetness to this in so many ways.


I want to go back to the magic forests of Meru, where the air is sweet and clean, where the Colobus’ eerie howls echo in the mist. I want to go swimming in the marble sea again under glass still Zanzibar mornings, swim out to the boat, into the sun. I don’t want to be here. I’m ready to trade in my horse. Call an ambulance. Or hide my horse. Play No Woman No Cry and turn the volume up at  the "everythingsgonnabealrighteverythingsgonnabealright" bit. right. there you are.

These long quiet hours are taxing to the spirit as are the ghosts and Veronica’s fresh flowers in the old room. And capital letters.

“right. enough uf zat. rauss rauss!"( sound tracked to some eye watering Wagner.) sweaty German alter ego man steps in. or is it my dead mother? "there’s no blood. you’ll be ok. chin chin. toughen up.  there are starving children in somalia and thank your lucky stars you're not Syrian".
thank goodness for that then.

(above pic found at the beautiful and poignant blog http://misswhistle.blogspot.com/ and it's true that i want those things.)

toodely toot, y'all. bisous X.X.X. flittery, faffy, frolicky ones x. j.


elizabeth said...

Love you and so glad you had a super summer and that you captured exactly what I'd love to say and never quite know how to....
Yes to bobbed hair
and thank god indeed we are not in Syria
and double yes to wanting to be brave.
Mary Oliver is splendid.
New York is hot and sticky but the ocean is lovely.
Greetings from over here and it was aboy time you posted...we were waiting toy know....

toomuchaugust said...

sometimes i want to give my horse back, and all the stacks of books. then i realize, actually i haven't had my horse yet . . . so i have to stay here for awhile longer. but who will keep the fear from knocking at my door? and while i wait for the answer to that question, someone DOES knock at my door. it's the pilot, here to remind me that sometimes we are only one sheet of paper short.

good to hear from you.


Mud said...

How can everything be too much and too little at the same time? That's how it feels sometimes. And I hide, somewhere with a book and a view with a glimpse of a coconut palm or a mango tree reimnding me that things go on. And that's its probably alright really.

Mud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoeinVegas said...

Interesting winter, from a 43c Vegas summer.

family Affairs said...

I know, I know. It's all too fast - but YAY I've got Africa coming up soon and I can't wait. LX

Family Affairs said...

Have nicked your post as so lovely and my brother loves you so I"ve done a guest post that sort of isn't a guest post if I haven't asked you - hope you don't mind??? Lx

Janelle said...

thankyou thank you thank you! DELIGHTED you've posted me...xxx