28/09/2015: a smoking chimney


A witch.

We’ve had the fire going over the last few days, even though these have been the driest and (possibly even) the warmest days we’ve seen since… June? Probably?

For some reason we seem to have an exponentially increasing washing pile. Perhaps it’s the universe expanding, and thus our washing pile expanding with it. Perhaps it’s that the days are getting shorter and thus there’s less time in the days to do washing. Hard to tell.

What’s been going on then?

IMG_7120Sybil’s back at kindergarten. Fury’s back at her weekly swim in Haverfordwest. Sybil’s back at her weekly swim down near Kilgetty.

Sybil has started an after-school drama club on Friday, despite not quite being at school yet. She’s loving that. She’s learning a song about raising rent maliciously to force a poor shoemaker out of business. She’s “a baddie”. Funny that, what with all the rent-control, property-dev, gentrification, protests/riots in the news.

IMG_7119But all that’s happening in London. Here in Landskeria we just have after-school drama clubs, and those funny late-flowering pink succulent type plants that the bees and butterflies go mad for. And those grassy red flowers that spring up along all the borders. They might be a type of lily. I have no idea.

They are a lovely echo to the many daffodils that sprouted so many months ago in spring, and I suspect they might be bulbs; but my recognition of our native flora is sadly lacking. So much lost knowledge.

IMG_7109The non-butter flies (AKA the flies) are going mad for the dying autumn sunlight on our South-facing white external walls, and the gaps left by the ventilation flaps in our Velux windows, and (consequently) the inside of our house. Again. Bloody flies.

Fortunately we have a few real genuine (non-cannibalistic) spiders. But I am always told to get rid of them when they grow too big. So I take them to my shed. And they might stay there. But suspiciously similar spiders of similarly gargantuan proportions soon turn up back in the bath.

The fireplace is surrounded by washing, which I ought to be folding up rather than writing this. Victoria is (finally, after three years in the county) at her first Welsh lesson. And I am preparing for my First of December POETRY BOOK LAUNCH, which will (assuming I can raise the funds to print it) mark the publication of my new poetry book, as well as the formal declaration of our nation’s independence from the UK, by a recitation of the state poem in the capital of the UK: London.

I’m excited. Aren’t you???


F, S, A.

Last weekend (not the one that just happened; the one before that) we met with Victoria’s cousin’s family in Bream, in the Forest of Dean. Sybil and Fury got to hang out with their (possibly removed, possibly second?) cousin Aster, who is a veritable whirlwind and much more similar in character to Sybil, despite being closer to Fury in age. She celebrated her second birthday (inasmuch as a two-year-old celebrates anything, which is to say, inasmuch as they tend to celebrate everything). And they got to meet their new baby cousin Peggy, the very tiny and very cute daughter of V’s middle sister, whose family had driven up from Newbury to drop by and say hello. Suspicions about chess-grand-mistress-credentials could be neither confirmed nor denied at this stage. But I can say that I didn’t beat her at a game of chess once during her visit.

IMG_7073We went to Chepstow, which was culturally interesting as a Welsh border-town, but not especially picturesque (apart from maybe the bit by the river, which we only drove past). It did however house one of those terrific/horrific children’s play areas in a warehouse on an industrial estate, which is always a pretty much readymade recipe for the best children’s birthday you could hope for.

And there was a massive Tesco.

We also popped to Symonds Yat, thus technically straying from Gloucesterhisre into Herefordshire, and seeing that awful “Here you can” sign. And Symonds Yat, which is lovely.

But seriously… “Here[ford] you can”??? Awful. Worse than the worst Travel Destination country-branding projects. Just get a county flag, dammit, Herefordshire. I like you, but you need to get with the program.

I read two poems from the new book at the Cellar Bards night in Cardigan. It seemed to go well. I enjoyed it anyway, which is the point of a hobby. And it was nice to hear so many powerful and versatile voices (in poetry and prose) as one tends to when making the effort to cross the county border (and the Preseli Mountains) to rock up at the Co-op car park at 8pm of a Friday.

mockupI will be spending the next few weeks recording poetry videos, practicing poems, writing press releases, deleting press releases, rewriting press releases, curating some regalia, panicking, picnicking (hopefully) and, of course, looking after children. We will also be welcoming the only next-gen cousin from my side of the family so far, Hercules (and his mother).

I’m so excited about the next poetry book I’ve already started mocking up covers for volume four! (Volume three is half-finished, collecting dust in a drawer in The Cloud.) Foolish of me, as there are much more pressing issues at hand.

The weather is sunny. The environment is prickly. And the economy is good.


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