Notes From A Fragile Island.

October 20 2004

(Crystal Palace)

Wake up tearful – the autumn blues are here. On my way to work I stop off at the Blackbird Bakery and buy a small loaf to feed to the ducks in the park. Not sure what prompts this, and it is such a rare compulsion that I cannot remember if ducks should be fed bread or not. The pond mirrors the rusting auditorium and I pluck pieces of bread and throw them into the water. The ducks paddle to them, streamlining, and soon the air is filled with swooping gulls who manage to snatch most pieces before they reach the water. Crows, too. But these are quite clumsy at the surface and instead they circle me on the muddy bank and advance in their boots and leather jackets! All the birds are ravenous. On the other side of the park I pass the cement dinosaurs. I throw the remaining bread toward their little islands. They eat considerably less bread. Less everything! They should be wary of extinction.

October 20 2017

(South Shields)

PM to one of his clients: “Life’s too short for pairing socks.” This is an old, but gold, go to when he is in a flirtatious mood. I catch his eye in the mirrors. “Nick pairs his socks,” he says to the woman. It is said with some incredulity, as if I am some kind of weirdo.

He has bought two Sonos speakers for the shop and so, at long last, the world is potentially our musical oyster. Sadly, PM stayed late last night and created the largest playlist ever which he refuses to let go of until it is finished. “It can play for three days without repeating,” he informs everyone. He introduces each and every track that comes on. “Ah, Donovan! My dad’s favourite when I was a boy.” Rather snottily (but correctly), I say, “Donovan is decaf Dylan.” By the end of the morning it becomes quite clear that we are some sort of tag team.

“Ooh, my favourite song ever,” declares PM as Some Might Say begins. But some tracks later he says the same of the theme tune to Top Gun!

“Oh, dear.”

October 20 2020

(Whitley Bay)

After a dreadful night’s sleep I wake (again) at 07:00 and discover that the (extensive) trial of Jodi Arias footage has been playing all night on YouTube. I could surely find something more soothing to fall asleep to? Recently I had been listening to an ASMR of an art restorer working on old oil paintings with a selection of tiny tools, scrapes and whispers. But it engrossed me so much that I just turned the volume up and watched it as a documentary late into the night!

I unwrap the Apple Mac cable from my neck and leap out of bed. It is my first day off for at least a week. Typically, the days that I have to get up for work I ride the snooze button until the final minutes. But on my day off I am up immediately, not wanting, I suppose, to waste the day (?). Cycle out to the lighthouse and reach it by 07:30. Why? Home again by 08:15. I heat some croissants and make some coffee and intend to eat my breakfast in bed. But, I am so hungry that I have wolfed most of the second one before the coffee is brewed. And, by the time it is, I am doing the laundry and quite happy to potter round the flat for some hours moving plants from one room to another to try and ascertain the best of the dark morning light and picking up and putting down books.

6 thoughts on “Notes From A Fragile Island.

    1. Yes, the gentle absurdity of the cutting room floor! How taxing to be subject to another’s taste! However, that said, I have since then found a soft spot for Donovan’s HMS Donovan.
      Thanks, Liz xo

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Quite predictably, this bird lover gravitated mostly to the October day in 2014 and enjoyed being surrounded by ducks, gulls, and crows in boots and leather jackets, all trying to snatch bread from the Blackbird (!) Bakery! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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