February 20th 2019 (Whitley Bay) 7am. Breakfast in bed; poached egg, toast, coffee. Miles Ahead, Miles Davis film. My favourite things - his bug-eye shades and coked-out cornrows, his chiselled cheeks and silver shirt (what is that, latex?!), circa Bitches' Brew, which, now I've seen the makings of, begins to make more sense - a … Continue reading Notes From a Fragile Island. 16
February 12th 2019 (East Surrey) The hospital is vast, busy. Following the blue line on the floor I arrive at the Post-Stroke ward. The ward is made up of 12 beds. The nurse points out dad's bed. The last on the left, by the window. He is partially hidden by a screen; a bony foot … Continue reading Notes From a Fragile Island. 15
February 3rd 2001 (Carshalton) Now that the electricity has been cut off we have taken to living by candlelight and eating oily special fried rice takeaways. I have broken up and burnt the shelves in the garage and have been slipping out under cover of the night to saw limbs from the pines, but the … Continue reading Notes From a Fragile Island. 14
One lunchtime in early 2006 I called on Magic Sam and he said to me, "We had the manager of The Fall in earlier." Really? Sam worked in Beanos (the sign above the door proclaimed - 'The largest second-hand record shop anywhere') and for many years this was the place to hang out. If you … Continue reading All Kinds of Everything.
January 21st 2007 (M25) The M25 is, as I have suspected for some time, more than just a motorway that encircles London and the surrounding suburbs: it is a dark magic that ensnares. It cannot be coincidence that once beyond its grasp the air becomes breathable; the sky, bigger; the scenery, vibrant - so vivid, … Continue reading Notes From a Fragile Island. 12
January 16th 2009 (Hook Farm, Uplyme) 8am. There is a doe outside the window. She is nuzzling the wet grass. She glances up at me after a while, stares, chewing, then continues foraging. Later, I scoop and crumble the insides of yesterday's french stick and I scatter the bread on the grass for the small … Continue reading Notes From a Fragile Island. 11