1 August 2019

Gentlest of breezes grazes the treetops and makes them sing of times past and times future; leaves wander back and forth in a tuneful cacophony that holds the world in thrall; and branches sway in a rhythm that complements and enhances the song the leaves would sing.

2 August 2019

Drops of water fall from higher leaves but rarely reach the ground; lower leaves and branches catch the droplets and treasure them against the coming heat of day; they glisten in the rising light or hide at junctures where new leaves nestle in the shade preparing to expand and grow.

3 August 2019

Beside the river upon the bank where a high winter level deposited it some years ago lies a log that was the length of a man; it could have been good firewood but instead has housed a legion of insects who lived inside its skin and have slowly eaten away the bark to leave little more than wind-blown dust; it has been a base for moss and lichen that has infiltrated deep within its core and extracted minerals of life; and now it nears its end as pieces break away and birds scratch and peck for insects within its softening and disintegrating shell.

4 August 2019

From out the nettles rises a pale brown butterfly; a little colour on its wings black and orange resembles the eye of a substantially bigger creature; its only defence against the birds that would swoop down and take it in the air; so in a short summer life it enhances my morning and will probably provide a morsel for some other creature before too long.

5 August 2019

Near the path beneath the trees a solitary walnut lies; dusty it has been pulled from some burrow where it lay at least one winter; some distance from the nearest parent the burier carried it before digging down or delving deep into a pre-dug hollow to save it for some unknown future; and did that burier find other treasures to see it through the winters until this cache was long forgotten or did the inescapable cycle of life and death take its turn and turn upon this one and take its toll?

6 August 2019

With an elegance belied by cantilevered legs and wandering wings and sinuous twisting neck the crane lifts from the river bank and glances in our direction; no more than a passing check to confirm the decision to move where we cannot follow; so up she rises spreading wings to take the air and lift her through the branches; and on the edge of open air a final sweep to ensure we are still ground hugging she glides away mistress of the skies.

7 August 2019

A man walks home, down our drive to the house where he was born eighty years ago; his eyes are wide with curiosity; we speak and learn a little; of the room that is now our kitchen which was their living space all else being mill working; and that that room held him his brother sister mother father and grandfather all in a place those eyes make clear was home.

8 August 2019

They hang in gobs seemingly from every tree draped in a purple far more black than ancient Rome elderberries plumped by sudden rain; they stare across the wood at blackberry and sloe; daring the first to take the risk of ripeness and sneering at the latter who must wait for cold and frost.

9 August 2019

Mists slip along the tree line stroking leaves and settling into hollows whilst the yet unrisen sun makes dragons out of clouds and sets them breathing fire above the rising heads of sunflowers into which glides a deer with all the bravery and terror of its adolescence.

10 August 2019

Up out and early moving; lots to do as food is needed for those coming and for my darling’s return; market choices not as anticipated so different fish will roast tonight.  Messages on timings travel seem to fit and allow a brief and final check that rooms are ready; towels are present and nothing lurks unseemly in our many corners.

11 August 2019

Walk off with old dog and young dog in the stillness of the morning rain lazing on the grass; house is full of people; strangers who will sit the dogs and mind the peace and place in our absence; they seem normal.  Walk with old dog and young dog; just us three in a calm before the storm of rising adolescents of others in the house and space and our desire to up and leave.

12 August 2019

Pain chest pain breathing; night is dark and silent; waking Nicky; hotel alerted call the medics; dragged backward in a chair helped onto a trolley and whisked away to be greeted by pouring rain as we arrive at hospital; trolley lying half sitting wheeling under lights; attentive people find their ways to hold me; Nicky holds her fears and stalwart stands and sits and waits.

13 August 2019

Naked as the day of my birth I stand and overlook the Loire almost unmoving as the tide turns; dawn risen wrists shaved I shower in antiseptic so a person I do not know can look inside me to see if I have a heart; Nicky with me wondering worrying hoping; anaesthetic dumbs the world into a nowhere.

14 August 2019

Dawn light over city lights show the river finally flowing seaward as tide turns and white birds fly free; gentle swooping up and down the river hunting breakfast on the wing; then release out free step into open air hand in hand; air that has not been recycled through an hundred lungs and antiseptic cloths before I breathed; now filled with the faint fumes of cars and lorries and planes landing and departing it holds the freshness of a meadow of delight.

15 August 2019

Rise in bed that is not in hospital; dawn light tumbles over the roofs to fritter itself away on rocks and into waters; brown rock golden sand and blue green water; water moving relentlessly up the beach to nestle against the lines of seaweed before calming holding for a moment then relaxing back.

16 August 2019

Gulls and terns turning in the wind that only sea and land can brew at those places where they meet and greet where water works on rocks and pounds them into stones and rubs and rolls them in its cauldrons until there are beaches by the rocks for terns and  gulls to come and bask.

17 August 2019

Wake to wind and rain and roiling sea; gusts build a dance of showers and surf and surge of white water to hurl soak and spray to splash wild waves against the rocks and crash the spume into the air.

18 August 2019

Waves come gently in long and strong from more than a thousand miles where they were born in earthly spin and driven wind and the gravity of the stars; they tell of time and place long past that stands beside and with us and watches over our shoulders into the future that we bring.

19 August 2019

Morning sun sharp on rocks blunted by the waves that now are quietly wandering up the beach and rubbing gently against the stone like cats marking with their scent and slinking on in steps that feel faintly furred.

20 August 2019

Home and dogs would like to walk but old dog is torn by the aromas from the kitchen as visitors fry bacon; less torn than drawn he would only walk if almost ordered and that I will not do so young dog and I check out the path and make sure the river is still in place and the trees have not wandered far.

21 August 2019

Wind moves gently between the leaves lifting and stroking each in turn singing music to the air and leaves respond rubbing themselves against each other in a constantly changing chant that courses through the wood.

22 August 2019

Green gold is falling; great walnuts dropped from high branches green eggs appear beside the path; still in their cups acorns spill down in greater numbers some dancing across the oak leaves others slipping between branches to land softly and silently in grass.

23 August 2019

Black and white surprisingly untarnished you have lain upon the barn floor for what seems like weeks; a butterfly or moth a flying monochrome creature who has rested here for longer than you lived; body crumpled crumbled lost to dust and yet wings still hold bright light as if alive.

24 August 2019

There are stones within the earth both smooth and jagged some a mixture; some recent pushed by foot and water; some ancient held as if in a grip of iron that have seen the ages pass in this shallow valley as the stream has come and gone and then returned; as earth has grown and then been washed away.

25 August 2019

Beneath the earth the creatures move; mammals dig their holes to hide the plenty they have gleaned as autumn fruits arrive; rodents tunnel from soft banks to hard paths; worms consume the earth to form the space to move; insects climb between the crumbs; and bacteria turn all to foods and earths.

26 August 2019

Gold we plunder and in slow torrents it pours as we steal the work of months the stores against the winter so carefully built; and come winter we will feed you and try to help you survive disease and drought and rain and cold.

27 August 2019

Cool of night rain holds the morning hints of autumn waiting in the wings wafting breezes that would be winds to scratch away the heat of summer the almost silent scrape of bird on window pane or mouse on floor.

28 August 2019

Elderberries mature have gone deep purple; blackberries trip and slip from reds to blacks and hold themselves for ripeness; grapes reach breaking points and swell with juice or shrink to raisins; whilst sloes wait knowing they will be the last and only they will see the winter and the frost.

29 August 2019

Trees are the punctuation of the land; weeping willows curving in the air are the commas; oaks twisted in the wind with their gnarled barks are semi-colons; beech clean and clear but sometimes branching must be the colons of the world; whilst ash that old but fast growing staple of the world that sprouts and spurts and sometimes sits and stands and stays that is the full stop of the world.

30 August 2019

Old dog pants and pines for younger days as do we all but loving vets and vast amounts of pharmaceuticals must manage what might have been a swift ungentle slide into old age; and will become a period of gentle exercise and careful diet.


There are nights when only lamping will suffice; to walk out into the dark with the littlest light that you can find and step upon a  path familiar one known in daylight and rare at night; light must be small sporadic scant and spare and barely show your way; a dog is good that knows the route and needs no direction but will stay close and be prepared to offer the comfort absolute and honest that only canine form can do; on a night when personal has imploded and political and practical have no sway nor matter then a dog and a dim light allow me to scream in a different way when with a partner spouse and so deeply loved one who holds my heart within the starlight and strews the milky way across my head and hugs my soul beneath the stars and frees up so many other sounds.

31 August 2019

There is a bindweed curtain that hangs from off a curling branch across one side of the path and there has been a minor pleasure to be had in walking through it; and that is now being lost as its weave is knitted by the weft of brambles growing inches every day and using it to stretch their talons from out the undergrowth.



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