14.1.18 Mum's house
Today I did nothing but love and be loved. A day when that is all you have to tell of is a good day indeed.
8.1.18 Pavement trees, from the street around the corner
My street is named after the trees its houses first replaced, as many streets are. One of its kind remains on an adjacent road, however - a common lime - and I can see it from my bedroom window. The Latin genus word for the lime family is Tilia: I always think it would make a pretty girl's name. Trace the word back far enough and you get to ptel-ei̯ā, a feminine noun meaning 'broad,' and that suits her all the more as that is exactly how she sits, her skirts frowzy and unkempt, a bush of wily red poker-shoots growing in all directions below her knees. In summer, she grins and spits sap onto cars parked beneath her. Her flowers are white starbursts that swell into round, plump clusters: drooping earrings that wobble when she laughs. I am uncommonly fond of her, my common lime, as you can tell. Who knows why that one matron was spared the chop. I'm grateful she was; I expect she is too.
She sleeps at this time of year, but unknown to her, still puts on a winter show. You see, her leaves have an unusual habit of making miniatures of her when trodden into tarmac. The strong winds last week must have blown up a hidden cache of dried leaves at her base and scattered them on the pavement a little way down the road. Feet as natural flower-presses did the rest.
Here then is a flat forest, muddied by January boots, and photographed by me, who stopped every foot along the pavement to snap a new one, and drove her son quite mad.
5.1.18 Sofa-bound, making wishes with stitches
I would like a wardrobe full of simple clothes I made myself, in grey and green and yellow. I would like a knife and fork and spoon made from smooth wood, and a matching bowl and plate and cup. I would use them for every meal, wash them up and dry them, and wrap them up in cloth till next time, like a Japanese monk on a mountain. I would like my house to be as neat and clean as a new pin and for everyone who enters it to exhale. I would like to use everything in it, or give away the things I don't. I would like to learn how to draw with a sewing machine and to fill the world with birds. A wren to start with, I think, and then a blackbird, then we shall see what comes out next.
I would like to have the courage to only wish for things that don't place expectations on others, and that don't expect me or anyone around me to be someone else. I would like to stop making assumptions - entirely, if possible - especially about what I think will make me happy. I would like to have a new front door the colour of sea glass and to fill the front windowbox with geraniums. I would like to leave everyone feeling a little better than they did before I found them. I would like not to take myself so seriously and to laugh no matter what that day contains. I would like to meet the unexpected with more dignity and to spend more time stroking my cat. I would like to throw away less food and take better care of my plants. I would like to spend more time just watching and to always be doing something with my hands. I would like everything I wish for to be things I could set to right away, if I chose to. Not a 'one day' in sight.
I would like to write stories.
I would like to be wilder.
I would like these wishes to represent the full and honest wishes of my heart and not harbor secret agendas that I quietly, bitterly wish for instead.
I would like to say what I mean and live what I say.
That will do for this year.
2.1.18 On the way to Jude's
I am teaching myself to embroider and have suddenly started seeing embroidery everywhere. There are needle-holes and thread-lines cut into stone and running down windowpanes. Today I went to sit and sew on my best friend's sofa round the corner for a while. I ran an imaginary thread between our two houses on the way, piercing street signs, drain lids and paving. Up and down and in and out, there and back again.
Cross stitch, chain stitch, split stitch, lazy daisy, running stitch, french knot. I like the words as much as the stitches themselves. Stem and whipped and satin and fern. Couch and coral, fly and fishbone. My plan is to learn them all and make landscapes of my own.