Taking the long way home

Thursday, 31 January 2013


SYMMETRICAL DUCKS LEAVE Vs in their river wake, peace signs, fitting for this dusky subtle hour when folk, like me, launch their dogs and/or bodies about the neighbourhood. I am escaping a long day's work not yet complete, the man in my house whose primary hobby appears to be television sentry, the fact I'm so tired I want to ball, and yesterday's dishes. I ask the ducks what they're liberating themselves from, but no response. Perhaps they think I'm quackers.

A stringy cat and I make friends via mutual smooching. He's a cat on a hot tin roof, literally, only this aint Mississippi, it's The Wood. The shed he orgies himself upon is trooping in ants on reconnaissance some place to or from, who can ever tell. But Puss and I are both civilians and don't much care, we are bonding, that is until the little bastard bites me on the hand. I resist from cuffing him about the ears as I continue on my way because he's just a cat on a hot tin roof and that's what cats do.

Fused over time into letter Ls, two old white fellas stop on the bridge in front of me to resume a more natural position, elbows nosed over the iron hand rail, commenting on the lack of eels but plentitude of fish. As we three alight onto a leafy street bedecked with modern aquarium houses and insurmountable fences of irony, my heart smiles when the Ls break out into a loud, melodic and Maori rendition of God Defend New Zealand. Indeed.

They have chosen another path by the time, homeward bound now, I pass the clutch of tall poppies dressed as sunflowers dancing about happily of the evening from their dizzying heights. These make me happy too as I continue on my way, glancing as imperceptibly as possible into secret crevices of people's properties never before noticed, despite my frequent meanderings about my hood. Modern baby carriage waits patiently at a back door under an old lady shady hydrangea alcove, while another front door lies open onto the street revealing the butterfly d├ęcor preferences of the matronly-efficient woman often to be seen clipping her insanely tidily manicured hedge. And here lives the Rawleigh's Man.

Cornering my own picket fence, dinner fills any vacant space left in my curious nostrils and the world now seems like a definitely more aligned place. Fairies have even done the dishes in my absence, sort of. I am hungry, tired, happy and grateful. Peace.

Rolling with it

Thursday, 24 January 2013


“What was left of her hair formed a vaporous tangle of white that seemed not so much to grow from her head as float in its vicinity.”

“So perhaps the greatest worry of all was that one day you would realize that all the worries of your life amounted to one thing: the desire to just stop worrying.”

LIFE HAS STEPPED BACK a chop or two, no longer lived at a thousand clicks an hour. I don’t mind it. I doodle snippets in my wee notebook that particularly take me along with them while reading. Like these from Justin Cronin’s ‘The Passage’. A not-normally-my-cup-of-tea genre, and yet for some reason, strangely compelling.

The usual burgeoning ‘to-do’ list instead replaced with a stack of ‘to-reads’, corralling in fervent invasion of my bedside table. There are worse problems to have. So far this has not resulted in my being clocked about the head with too much writing rampancy of my own or anything. But there’s something growing steadily inside me readying to pop out with its own brand of fanfare, I’m sure of it.

I read. I sleep. I eat. I doodle. I even search for new recipes that appeal to my senses and cook. How about that? Time passes swimming at the beach, sitting in the river, or whispering things into my horse’s delightful brown ears, even though I’ve hung up my stirrups for a while. I drink lots of water. Sometimes I even work. I ignore people. They talk too much, most of it of little interest or originality. It's nothing personal. Right now I just prefer a teeny-tiny coterie.

Junk shops get the once and twice over for creative purposes – inventing mystical spaces and cutesy dioramas in my little house – while other inspirations are dutifully catalogued on Pinterest for some future crafty date. Sometimes I even think about covering my head with a sarong and meditating tomorrow morning when I wake up. Always tomorrow so far. And I’ve learned that there is the equivalent of seven and a half teaspoons of sugar in a can of baked beans. Diabolical.

It’s a new year and the beckoning of very new frontiers. My grand master plan is just to roll with it, with as much serenity as possible xx