How grateful the dawter and I were to be able to get a week away in Lanzafeckingrotty. The constant criticism is the curse of the Western traveller……… The Lava walls were everywhere, the landscape bleak and Barron. The beds too small and the 20X12 room so basic I knocked everything off my pillow side shelf, … Read more

October sun

The rain has arrived. The grey clouds have made the cottage feel dark.
The Camellias, outside the door have rainwater dripping off their leaves.
All day, drip, drip, drip.
The heater is on in the bath room.
I have been hugging a hot water bottle and wearing thick woollen socks.
I have been drinking hot soup and dreaming of sunshine and warmth.
1.00 a.m on Thursday 15th.
I’ve packed a small red case.
1 black swimming costume.
1 red bikini
1 patterned bikini.
The patterned one is so old it looks like those Airtex knickers we wore in the 60’s, the ones that stretched out of shape.
The red one was bought in 2010 when I cashed in my pension to get us out to Costa Rica. I had lost loads of weight – due to the end of GFL – and had bought the red bikini as a testament to my new body. Whilst sunning myself on the terrace, the hammock swinging in the breeze, the palm trees swaying, the howler monkeys howling, the old git looked at me and said.
‘I don’t know who you remind me of.’
I thought it must be Ursula Andress walking out of the waves towards 007.
‘I know.’ he said. I waited…..
‘Who?’ I nudged.
He called me Goosey for the rest of the trip.
So I’m taking Airtex, Ghandi and a black swimming costume that is tighter than a tight pair of Spandex. I should care it’s just me and the dawter overlooking the Atlantic and dodging the hailstones. I understand the Jet Stream is splitting in two and one fingerling is heading straight for the Belariacs.
I have packed my writing notebook, a reading book, a phone charger, a pair of shorts and three other items. I have a plastic bag with my questionable bottles and a little bag with remedies for hangovers, sickness and panic attacks……

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Radio Sussex

The garden table is full of windfalls. Half the apples are brown waspy mush the other half shiny green and red. I’m working on Radio Sussex this week so gardening duty is out. It’s a 6.00a.m. start. Shower, dressed, torch to the car. Headlights on and I’m off. I put on Radio 4 on and … Read more

Mists and mellow fruitfulness.

The leaves are turning from green to red. From green to yellow. From green to pink.
Yesterday I drove to Brighton and sat in for Danny Pyke on Radio Sussex, he’s broken his collar bone. I’m sitting in for Danny again on Monday, and possibly all week.
My front tyre was flat, so called ATS, they were chockah, the old git said to pop in on the way back and make an appointment. They told me to come back at 4.00.
Got home and lay on a quilt in the garden. The hot October sun lulled me into a deep sleep.
When I awoke I had missed the appointment.
Sat at the end of the garden in the middle of the bending Borage, the slug eaten cabbages, the monumental dahlias, so big and white they look like they are made out of porcelain, sat on the bench in the sun and re-made an appointment for today. The boughs bending from the ripening apples, the lemon balm and sage as bushy as they could be. The runner beans, the courgettes, beetroots and carrots still throwing out their fruits.

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Primo Italian, Secondo too.

I went into town yesterday for a meeting.
I took the Uckfield train. Stood in the sunshine and did some exercises whilst I waited for the little chuffer to turn up.
On the platform, opposite where the steam train club meet, there are vintage advertisements on the walls. Ladies and Gentlemen’s waiting rooms and lavatories. A clock whose face is set in the 30’s and a sense of history. Like nothing has changed since Jenny Agutter played with the railway children.
I stood looking across the tracks. Bird song – silence – rustling September leaves – silence. The platform, mostly empty, save for one man, two women and me. The computerised timetable told us that the train would arrive at 10.50, and bugger me if at 10.49 the shhussssh of the wheels on the rails didn’t signal a perfectly punctual arrival.
I took my seat in an empty carriage, apart from a Chinese couple who were reading their telephones. I walked the length of the train to find the guard to buy a ticket – the station did have a ticket machine but they unsettle me. I’m always worried about losing my card and my patience.

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