Month: July 2015

On running

      But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill Ikeep coming back to this line from Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation which seems true to me in oh-so-many ways. The present feels so permanent, and we live in it like it has the solidity of a house when really it’s a flimsy tent. In many ways that’s a terrifying thought,  but it’s a liberating one as well. Because, as Offill suggests, it’s true that we never know what is going to happen to us next in smaller, funnier ways too. Ways that mean that it’s best never to laugh at anyone because one day, not so very long from now, you may be them. I thought running was a suburban affliction of the thirty-something parent. Something highly contagious, like chicken pox, that I’d rather I didn’t catch. I didn’t know that this was …

Ant and Bee | edge of evening

We love: Ant and Bee

This book is called Ant and Bee because it is all about Bee and Ant. Ant and Bee by Angela Banner This one’s for B. I heard about Ant and Bee long before I met them and, in the way that books from even our own childhoods do, they sounded like they were probably made up. Who were these characters Ant and Bee and their friend Kind Dog who B remembered so fondly? Did Ant and Bee really cry when their shopping got squashed? And was this so immeasurably sad to a young child that it would be remembered for the next twenty years? (Let’s not even talk about the ‘spoons that have fallen behind the stove and are never seen again’ in Arnold Lobel’s Owl at Home. Or maybe, let’s, but another time…) The Ant and Bee books were rumoured to be with his sister. But since we have a book with her name very clearly inscribed on its flyleaf, we didn’t ask. I looked for them online from time to time but I couldn’t find them. Then, …

Light & shade

The house measures the year by where the light reaches. This is our third summer here and I watched carefully for the day the light claimed the worktop, the bathroom, the wall above our bed. There are places it catches that still catch me by surprise. So: this is summer once again. Here in the spilled honey of the worktop, in the gleam of the basin taps, in the pearlescent glow of a plastic bead. I will admit, I’ve collected these moments this year, but I’ve never quite believed in summer. A cloudy day. The reflected flash of blue on the black TV screen before an ambulance pulled up outside. One of our dear neighbours — the neighbour who held our street together with her kindness, the neighbour who lent us Rasmus and the Tramp — died suddenly this week. Her car is still parked, uncharacteristically well, opposite her house. She babysat and tutored many of the children in our area, so it’s been a week filled with our own sadness for her and for her …

Summer

Now all the doors and windows are open, and we move so easily through the rooms. Cats roll on the sunny rugs, and a clumsy wasp climbs the pane, pausing to rub a leg over her head. from ‘Philosophy in Warm Weather’ by Jane Kenyon That weather when our bodies feel soft and open, adrift in warm air. That’s when I know that summer’s here. And, finally, it is. All I want to do is lie in the garden & read. But not quite yet. July is going to be an exciting month for our little family. We’ve got a 90th birthday party, a ballet exam & a wedding, and then — though if you’d told me this a week ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible — then, we’re flying to California for a month. As I said to B last night, if it wasn’t happening to me, it’s the kind of thing that would really annoy me. There is an unexpected gap of four weeks when the kids are off school and nothing …