Day 4

Catkins, cast adrift from willows by gusting draughts, litter the garden. The grass looks as if plagued by woolly, dusty caterpillars that have emerged from below. The week’s washing flaps and tugs on the line.

The wind has turned to the east. It bites at the skin and catches in the throat.

Today the Spring Equinox has passed and the Sun’s steady climb towards its zenith is celebrated by the arrival of goldfinches bowling in on the chill blow. They chirrup soft songs to each other beneath the raucous complaints of their rowing neighbours.

Blackbirds ruffled by the blustery conditions contest territory. Vicious attacks continue in ignorance of my presence.

On the salt marshes waders lie low. Flight into, across or down wind is difficult. Jerky movements with scooped wings in attempts to control flight, suggest the waterfowl are string-manipulated puppets; uncertainly staggering through the air.

On the great expanse of shingle the German Sea crashes in. Dirty brown rollers maned with white crests are topped-off by the crosswind. Further out, where the water sparkles blue, the triple-bladed wind turbines are shining in the brilliant sunlight. The massive propellors churn relentlessly, feeding the grid.

We spoke this morning. Both in dazzling sunlight, despite being hundreds of kilometres apart.

The distance between us is as nothing. I half-expect to hear you knock at the door.

“Is the kettle on?” you chance.

“Of course! Come in.”

CLP 21/03/2020

Day 3

Early to the heath accompanied by birds in full song. A red kite hangs above the oak trees trying to get a fix on breakfast despite the gusting northerly.

Three other birds of prey wheel, hover, patrol the ridge.

From the still sodden fields curlews agitated cries cut through melodies of dunnocks and robins; contrast with the squeaky rhythm of great tits welcoming spring.

A Muntjac deer with its back legs caught in the fence wire, hangs head down, front legs limp, its rear torn open by a fox, crimson.

On the way back down the lane my attention is held by a movement on the verge. I see a mouse, its tiny marble-black eyes glint from beneath celandine leaves. We spend moments staring at each other. The mouse loses interest first and scrambles off leaving wavering plants in its wake.

By evening the bitter wind from the north sweeps up the hill from the sea, over the head of a red deer hind with her fawn nibbling at crumbs left by goats from their plastic bucket.

The spectacular yellow blooms of gorse purses are open for business. A bumble bee passes loudly, yet unseen.

I go to bed.

“Night night”

“Good night, dear friend.”

It has been Friday.


CLP  20/03/2020


Day 2

Immersed in work online while your day with formal interaction progresses from tense to harrowing.

Here grey, gloomy sky with occasional rain.

I empty the compost bin into the black plastic Dalek composter that is alive with a tangle of fine, writhing, pink worms.

Night comes early. Good night wishes exchanged by text.


CLP  19/03/2020

On Me Head, Lass

Do you mind if I…

The attractive young woman began

Moving to my side

Touching the nape of neck

Checking me over


Touching my ear

Rearranging a little silver-white curl on my crown

…if I photograph your hair?

I think it’s beautiful


After taking a few photographs

From different angles

She turned to her phone, smiled

And said

“That will be ten pounds, please”

That’s a fair price for a haircut

I paid, happy as a show lamb

(And we all knows what happens to boy lambs don’t we’s?

There’re the first to leave the farm)


CLP 21/02/2020

Lyon (VI)

Sunday’s streets mostly silent

I hear the leathery leaf of a plane tree fall

Now Saturday’s night is done

This is how life used to be

A day of rest, officially

When even clocks seem to pause

But Metro lines, buses and trams

Still running efficiently

Over the viaduct a TGV rolls

A slow start

This is a time to breathe

A gentle stroll

City parks, the river promenades

Come into their own

The carousel yet to turn

Boulouger rises early

Flower stalls bloom

A street market unwraps

Churches’ heavy doors let in light

Let out dust and gloom

Street cleaner already vacuuming

While dog walkers stoop

Still having to pick up the mess

Their dogs don’t get Sundays


n.b. Yes, the old clock wasn’t working. It was 08:00h when I took the photo.

CLP 25/11/2019