Archive for September, 2015

Accurate Diversions?

This is an article that calls out for fly-on-the-wall- photos; unfortunately and as per usual – I got so wrapped up  in the task I , I er … well, I just never got round to taking any. maybe you’ll still enjoy the writing. Hope so.

I started work on it yesterday. Fair to say I have been putting it off, this re-cladding of the double door, one-time garage sized timber shed (for want of a better word) that almost certainly found its way here from use as a storage building on a building site; courtesy of the house’s previous owner (I suspect).

I don’t mind work (I do have an allotment after all!) but to do this justice would always require a degree of accuracy and skill that I like to avoid. Making nest boxes and bee-hotels is one thing, there can be gaps and spaces) but this is an entirely different kettle of roses.

Indeed I left it so long that the work just (stitch in time wise) compounded itself. Where once the ship lad planks just needed painting, next some – and then more – needed replacing, then the frame itself needed attention.

So I investigated, measured, calculated and purchased timber, cleared out one side of the shed (wouldn’t like to be accused of overdoing it) and set to. This, given the random hoarding effect of my nature (a sled, a child’s bike, plastic nuts and bolts from a junior construction kit, a box of Matchbox toys and a five lire can of cam shaft grease and empty wine bottles garnered from a shed load on the Roman road, was a task in itself. But work proper commenced with the left hand door. Seemed sensible: the lengths are shorter, so more manageable, the effect immediate and it gave me practice. Much needed practice.

That was yesterday, when coincidentally we were supposed to be subject to heavy and lengthy showers. They somehow went elsewhere as we had a gloriously warm, sunny September day.

This morning, filed with yesterday’s successes I began on the side wall. It is only a shoulder’s width away from the ten foot brick wall between our garden and G—-‘s garden. Ivy and brambles with spiky stems now as thick as a bricklayer’s fingers had clambered over it, his apple tree branches hanging fruit down into the space – and these, a couple of weeks ago, took some effort to clear. We had a compost heap behind the shed in the days before we had an allotment, the remains of the frame are still there now, with a broken plastic bucket. When I move it a sodden frog emerges from the slime that oozes around inside it. (We lawned over the small vegetable patch we were cultivating and planted apple trees when the allotment was offered.)

I take the task leisurely. Sawing with the sharp recently purchased saw is a pleasure in the autumn-morning chilled air. The skies are high and blue; tomatoes , stripped of leaves ripening in the greenhouse; peppers and aubergines carried into the double glazed, warmer porch, front of house, hopefully to continue swelling. A bee, braving the low temperature swings up inside one of the climbing fuchsia flowers that hang like airborne jellyfish. A wasp crowds the single windfall apple. A blue tit forages in the honeysuckle. Sawdust and wood shavings fall to the lawn like snow.

At different times I mislay the tape measure, the screwdriver, tip over a box of nails and empty the scavenged screws into the recycling bin. Spiders of all shapes and size scurry past or tarry to watch the labour and my work sets hosts of woodlice into frenzied activity as I move stones and timber. Small caterpillars starting to abseil down to the ground from the small leaved lime tree are welcome diversion (what kind of moth/butterfly will they become?)

Although I have an aversion to exact measurements I find the work pleasant; at times all I am doing is loitering with a purpose as Lady Autumn sets out her stall around me. I take a break, eat cheese and home-grown tomato sandwiches (outside of course) and by six o’clock I am satisfied and, it appears successful. Oh, the task is far from completed, but I am in Tamworth tomorrow, and there are more complex pieces to puzzle my way around, but with the nailed up cladding suitably primer/undercoated I have a sense of achievement.

The Winds Have Changed …

If I were human (great lumbering brutes that they are) …

If I had human language, calculated time like a human –

Took it for granted like a human –

Then this would be

2015,

Mid-September

End of summer,

Autumn creeping in …

If I were human,

Thought as one of them,

Named things in the

Ridiculous, disinterested way they do

(Then having catalogued it, so casual dismissive

Let it go) …

I would be

Butterfly.

Image result for butterfly u.k.

I have known vast expanses of colour,

Winged, gloriously anonymously over them,

Drinking in perfumes and nectar

Gorged myself

On treasures offered

Thinking not of the past day

Never mind past lives

(Though the sugars I digest

Drive me forward, impetuous, impatient

And make fairy grasshoppers of my memories

I believe I may be dimly aware

That I existed before:

But that is so, so unimportant

And I have neither need

Nor call to follow those distraction trails)

The winds have changed,

That much I can chart,

The colours I need are fewer and further between

And splendid sun-energy is horribly drained

By the routes I make ‘tween stops,

Powder bright and dull scales topple from my

Banner wings, nights are darker, bite with challenge.

But I will fly with purpose while I can;

Flutter in giddy-clown circles when that option is gone and

Stagger on too fragile limbs to

An eventual ending of sorts.

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