Thursday, 25 August 2011

your wife of 363 days

i can’t do the talk like they talk on tv

and i can’t do a love song like the way it’s meant to be

i can’t do everything but i’d do anything for you

i can’t do anything except be in love with you

this played at some point during our wedding day. i have gypsophila in the house; all i need now are white roses. this time a year ago i was waiting for indian food, depending on the way you judge a year. it's funny how time flies and it's funny how everyone always says that but it does and it feels like i've not given you enough yet. everytime i hear these songs it makes me ache with the heaviness of the day, the great weight of significance and the knowledge that it will never happen again. all i can see now are deep red lights and you, and white, and circles. i've never felt as tired as i did that evening as the nerves turned to exhaustion.

i've been married for almost a year now and there is gypsophila in the house. today you came home and you called me your wife of 636 days. in the garden it smelled wet and warm and comfortable; stark contrast to the week in my memory. our olive bush, i thought long dead, has burst into life again. we can suffer through anything my dear, any thing at all. i won't say i believe in any superstition, but i will say that there was hope in those new shoots. of whatever there is that doesn't go on, i know it won't be us.

it's all yours, as you know

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

1% autumn

A friend of mine got married the other day and it rained. I don't know if that changes anything. Perhaps it wasn't something so tenuous. I find myself constantly theorising - as is my way of living - and making life quantifiable. I'm cataloguing days and events into boxes; tidy rows of visibly sensible information. Sometimes there is so much going on that it's easy to take the things you want out of life and show a pattern. Such persuasiveness lies behind numbers. Then again, sometimes I can't help but think that there must be no reality to assumptions of fate and right and occurances. Isn't it all just immeasurable? Every little detail of every single life can't possibly follow a track. Saying that, if you mix every colour it always becomes brown so is everything brown? You'd say no, but I'm guessing it's not so visually apparent.

The seasons changed the other day. I just wanted to note it because no-one ever does. People always disagree with me when I tell them we are moving to a new front and they do this because they are unwilling to change so soon. They don't understand that it is a progression. It just went from 100% summer to 1% autumn, that's all. It's a change nonetheless and it was combined with my having the cold and it made me feel so very cool; chilled right through at the thought. I can always tell the change in the season by the change in myself and my pinings and last week I thought of fires and warmth and the first christmas eve alone with Stuart and the stillness of it all like such a voyage was never made before. I thought of the start of university in 2005 when everything was changing and I relished change then. Every time I go back to those mornings at five to ten, walking through frosty campus in a black duffle coat, what you would call 'hungover' but I would call at ease. I'd walk up through the part of campus with the fake stream and the grass and the trees with the leaves falling and the water clogged with shades of brown. The sun is always shining, and my face is cold. Sometimes I try to recreate these feelings when I walk out now but all I can get is the memory and it is unchanged. I'm not the same person now and I know I'll never feel that way again.

Today I woke up from under the blanket but ontop of the duvet and it was cool and I walked to the living room finding it odd that I didn't go straight to the kitchen (straight to doing) and the room was so chilled that I knew my cold hadn't served to alter my perceptions and autumn was welcoming me in the pale light of this morning. It was as if it was being persuasive just for me, it knew I needed this.

On Sunday we are going to Tenerife and I've never been on a 'summer' holiday so late in the year. I'm a bit worried about the schism of it being autumn here but I've vowed to act like it's a reprive and I am on pause so it will be alright. Once I'm back I think I will feel at ease with myself once more. Summer is like that bad friend at school and you want to feel daring but once you've had it you know you need to go back to your own. The winter months are my own, I'm a child of November and it's all I really know.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Having the cold always reminds me of Christmas. It makes me think of a double duvet cover folded in half on the sofa like an unzipped sleeping bag, a cocoon of heat and initial comfort. Those beds were always so fresh and welcoming after a long sticky night of tossing and turning, unable to breathe lying down. My Mum always used to put lavender water on the sheets and pillows which made it seem as if nothing as reviving as this had ever existed. Then several hours later that bed seemed like a cage of discomfort and uneasiness. Covers rumpled and clumping beneath your restless body making creases jut into your aching feverish skin. The lavender smell was long gone and instead that constant dirty, tangy taste of illness and catarrh is all that remains. When I moved from home and in with my now husband my bouts of seasonal illness would see me replicate this event and add my own take by gathering on a foot stool beside the sofa an array of carefully arranged medicinal products and otherwise. Neatly stacked boxes of paracetamol, decongestant, cough syrup and throat lozenges stood next to a cup of hot orange or tea, a banana to accompany the pills, tissues in a package, vicks vapour rub and a menthol inhaler. A book, tv remotes, work if applicable, all this gathered on the stool, a protest to having to leave a seated position. By the time the lavender smell has faded these products are in disarray, a mass of opened boxes of pills and scattered remedies. Sticky spoons and cold half drunk drinks in pecariously sitting mugs. Sodden tissues on the stool, dried and used ones on the floor, books disregarded, remotes dropped, banana peel straddling the inhaler disgustingly. The pain killers have worn off but its hours before you get more and the fever has returned and you kick sheets with restlessness and anger that cant be exhumed as strength has abandoned you. Whatever's on the television becomes a haunting nightmare as you doze and you are too hot and too cold all at once, forehead clamy and hair sticking to your face in disgusting clumps. There is such little dignity in illness. To right this wrong you peel yourself from the sheets which duely stick to your leg and aim to trip your pathetic creeping walk and you climb into the shower, weary already. The normal water is too hot and it stings your prickled and achey limbs and the good feeling of being clean is overwhelmed by the faint feeling you get from standing up so long. Brushing your teeth tastes like rubbing peppermint into stomach acid and you are so tired after it all that drying your hair depletes the last ounce of strength available. But by the time you are finished, shivering, diminished in bed clothes that seem too large all of a sudden, the cocoon is remade and the freshness restored and the products rearranged neatly on the stool, pain killers administered and a familiar comfort returned shortly.

Being ill isn't something I take kindly too, yet there is something that sparks a security and homeliness that creates a hollow schism in me. These beds in my mind are often accompanied by dark nights and cosy rooms, often fairy lights. Smells of delicious family meals that I was too nauseaus to take part in. Always crispy duck. I find it very odd that the smell of menthol now takes me back to festivities and december but in some ways it is like its my brain making it easier on me. Having a cold in summer is such an awful paradox that it throws off my sense of seasons and makes me wish for a change. I always have this thing where I pine for summer, or winter, and when it arrives I take my fill quickly, or am dissappointed by a lack of snow/sun, and start to crave the alternative. Recently I've been considering christmas and winter and snow. I know I shouldn't, I always jump too quickly. Last year it snowed in late Novemeber and when christmas came it seemed like celebrating in Janurary, or like cleaning on new years day. I won't do that this year. I'm going on holiday to tenerife in two weeks to get some sun and I'm retaking summer after this short interlude to illness ridden nostalgia. That's just me though, impatient.