Ten days ago, I caught an evening train. I was running on empty, end-of-day, end-of-book, end-of-course; the sky was the gentlest blue. I could have sat in the carriage for days, for years; watched the flat green, the night fall, the street lamps alighting one-by-one, dots on the i's of the railroad towns. Slumped in my chair, I leant my head on the accordioned curtain, watched the passengers reading, caressing screens with idle fingers. On the station platform, a plump man stood on tiptoes and exchanged unheard words with the driver. We left, the women opposite giggled. A pretty girl with a spotty forehead gazed anxiously at her phone, hesitated as she read, chewed gum and tucked one arm around her waist, protectively. Everywhere was blue.
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Monday, 25 February 2013
I've been in a vortex these past six weeks, spinning in a twirl of flu bugs, decorators, running courses and learning to love the night. Sliding shuffle shoes, I've embraced the midnight hours, been burning the candle at both ends while I finish my book. I am tired from dancing with the moon. But, I am happy to have befriended time from sunset to sunrise; sweet, relentless, nocturnal hours.
Wednesday, 2 January 2013
Here is a pretty picture of a door knocker, taken in the hot August streets of Pamplona. I am sick in bed, sliding gently into 2013. Tucked under my duvet, surrounded by my manuscript, Battleborn and a scary French book about linguistics - that I have promised myself I'll read - I alternately groan, rewrite paragraphs and window shop food blogs. I am nursing a bad head and wearing thick socks. Still, it's cosy in here. Bonne année.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
We dig into Christmas, hollow out a space and fill it to the brim with: homemade stockings, pound shop key rings, mistletoe and stewed red cabbage served with chantrelle mushrooms that the vegetable man said he picked from the forest just next to his house. We sit beside the fire and mislay our sense of time in embroidered vintage tablecloths and silk PJs. Gifts are unwrapped, toys built and thank-yous said. In the middle of the day, he encourages fresh air and we are blown from the appartement and venture outside wearing fake fur coats that are not discreet, but fun. Upon returning, we eat, nibble, drink and I finish the day munching my chocolate ganache tart. Pre-bake little tartlettes of a sweetened pastry. Then, melt chocolate in a bain-marie. Heat double cream until nearing boiling. Add to chocolate with a smidgen of butter. When it resembles chocolate mayonnaise stop stirring. It's ready. Fill pastry cases and refridgerate. Yum. Parfait.
Sunday, 23 December 2012
These days, we are walking in the forest, nestling into our cosy home, burrowing into Christmas. I have baked a cake, unexpectedly. Decorated a tree. I am reading Foucault, Claire Vaye Watkins and a book about the origins of writing. Science is reassuring, I tell him as we sip tiny glasses of blackberry gin, lit by the winking of fairy lights. Philosophy structures thought, I explain and we talk about that and then my vegetable soup, made from turnips, carrots, leeks, potatoes and a handful of chestnuts. I flavoured the soup with sprigs of thyme and a solitary bay leaf; liquidized it was divine.
Friday, 14 December 2012
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Early, I leave hot coffee and jumble of brooms. Outside clouds hang like sky whales, pencil grey on turquoise sky. A pinky ink is seaping into the daybreak. Bold golden light carries the dawn to a tar black, starless earth that is frozen, stone daubed with a swift breath of frost. Soon the sun will rise, unlatching the door to green grass. Handles turning on the last days of autumn light.