The Pip-Pop is sleeping. The Moose is trying a full day at school. B has cleaned the loft windows and the sky is dazzling in its clarity. The cloudscape is crisp and beautiful — thin trails of cirrus against perfect pale blue. This morning was cold and misty. Always the change surprises me when it comes. All those months of walking to school with bare arms, wearing sandals. Today I slipped on shoes, knotted a scarf at my neck, showed the Pip-Pop how to put on a cardigan. We walked past glitter-dusted cobwebs, no spiders in sight. The children marvelled at seeing their breath in the air, then disappeared into their lines clutching their book bags. Back home, with ten minutes before we needed to go to the doctor’s surgery, I went into the garden to capture the webs there. Orb webs, mesmerising in their geometry. Beautifully intricate tangle webs. The first leaves of the magnolia turning papery brown. Thick seed pods blushing red. After school, there is swimming. Now there is ironing to do for tomorrow’s funeral. I will go to my grandparent’s house and neither of them will be there to open the door. So many years, as a child, of worrying that they would die, craning as we pulled out of their cul-de-sac to wave a final wave, seeing them standing arm-in-arm, waving back, getting smaller and smaller, until we turned and were gone.
I can’t stop listening to this by Josephine Foster, since I first heard it here. If you happen to have listened to rather too many times table songs on YouTube, so many that you wake in the night with them still going round and round in your head, then it’s the perfect antidote. (On the plus side, T is now a pro at the three times table thanks to this and this. Listen at your peril.)