and habits are powerful.
First there is cold water:
Then the house of angles, tilts, uncertain perspectives, interior windows, arches, coves, stairs:
I am all for unusual Christmas trees, but this was one too many for me:
The glass baubles each represent a dead baby. A named dead baby.
Waiting for low tide is usually helpful, but as I walked down the weather turned on a sixpence, and thus, so did I. The building shower loomed, and followed me home, breathing gustily on my neck.
Rumbling through the black back roads on an unfamiliar bus route: the night made strange.
Next stop Pump Lane.
Occasionally some bright windows or a pub sign or a poster of alpacas flickered by.
Next stop Dodpits.
For once technology was welcome, reading out the names of each increasingly remote location in the back of beyond.
Next stop Throstles.
A few strings of Christmas lights, in more or less questionable taste, appeared and disappeared randomly.
Next stop Sixpenny Corner.
The screen suddenly became dark; falling off the edge of reception? This left me trying to guess the bus’s location by how steep the hill or how sharp the corner might be.
Pinging the bell; walking behind a circle of light to the silent house; supping on jaffa cakes; retiring with someone else’s book.
This morning another bus, mystery resolved in daylight, foam blowing backwards off the breakers. Another quiet house, and as I revised kitchen cupboards a sort of recognition crept over me: the Mole and his sad little tin of sardines. And Christmas was imminent then too. Only for reasons nothing to do with me, my cupboard contains only seventeen tins of tuna.
No Ratty though.
The rails were washed and punctual. At the destination I paused for blue sky. A perfectly conventional place, rendered strange by a continual stream of young people crossing it.
I rested the bag of books on a convenient spot
and reprieved the feet on a better class of pew.
The many many many shoppers were aimless, obstructive, as indeed we were ourselves, but the duck toastie worked. Home in time to see a shred of young moon dip into the trees, though not in time to keep company with it.