Touch

424183_2710851852157_813846467_n

It’s that sense of touch,

that traces the scars of love, safety, laughter, sex – the road-map to your regurgitated carol:

Past, Present, Future.

 

It’s that breeze of a touch,

that rockets you to the stars whilst chaining you to earth with bonds you cling to, flying past a moon that laughs

at the speed at which you race.

 

It’s that burning touch,

that reminds you, teaches you – urges you – into a manifest of that beauty that blossomed just once:

on that end-of-Summer day.

 

It’s when you lose that touch,

that the skies grow dark and the earth slips into mud slides that shoot you down to the flat rock bottomless pits

of why.

 

No more does the lingering touch

nestle close to you at night and sketch the curves of your hips, scorching this moment into your treasure box mind.

And so you back down.

 

You wait for that sweet promised touch

to make it’s way back with silver tongued words; with salted tears pouring oceans of Never Again.

My Roald Dahl Baby

There you are, towering above me, taking lumbering steps with the sun streaming at your back. The bowl of your ear craves the tiniest drop from my mouth; the crevasse of a wrinkle gouges through your laughter. You have wisps of hair flying from the top of your head, waving a crazy dance in the hurricane winds. 

The first time you held me in your expanse of crinkly palm I remember your rough brown waistcoat; I could see each weave of thread and wondered how many miles of hazel string were brought together to create a thing so vast. You laughed when I asked you, and offered me a snozzcumber.

Sometimes I wonder how the whole world fails to hear you when you speak. You voice is a booming thing, a ricochet of thunder that bounces around my head and sizzles my brain. I feel it from my tiny toe nails to my slender bone fingers. Often the pebbles at your boat-sized feet skip along the ground as if scurrying away from you, leaving puddles of space in your wake.

One time you lost me. You placed me down and couldn’t find me. You didn’t know it was because I hid from you.

In your search you trampled trees and kicked roofs from houses. You cried fat tears that splashed to the ground and created puddles that flooded the roads. A cacophony of car horns and disgruntled shouts rose from the town, begging me to come forward and show myself, to stop all this destruction.

I wriggled free of the downy quilt and poked my pointed nose out of the window. I saw the damage you caused and felt the tang of rising smoke from the broken house next door burn the back of my throat. The splattered remains of our shared snozzcumber were smeared across the garden. The salty water of your sorrow pooled on the streets.

With a heavy heart, I called your name and reached out my arms as the familiar shadow blocked out the moon and plucked me from my home. You walked me miles away, until we were the only living things in sight.

In the night I held you as close as I could, pressing my tiny body to the crease of your thumb. You told me that you are quite often left instead of right, that you know exactly what words you’re wanting to say, but somehow or other they are always getting squiff-squiddled around.

I looked deep into your twinkling eyes, the kindest eyes I have ever seen. They made me forget every broken brick and every shattered tree. And I quoted up at him, in the tiniest voice I could make, so that his eager ears folded forward to hear me:

This is where all dreams is beginning.

BFG1

Dance the blues away

It is starting to get truly cold outside: that kind of bite of ice that shivers up your face and pinches your cheeks into a startling red blush. Walking through the front door into warmth and love feels like so much more of a blessing when there’s that meanness to the air.

I have just collapsed at home after an exhausting session of zumba. For those of you who don’t know what that is, I shall merely say that despite the promises of wicked dance moves and Shakira hips, in reality it is a bunch of women waving their arms and stomping their feet, blinking the sweat out of their eyes as they ‘dance’ for an hour.

…Well. I love it.

Today’s session was particularly intense – and here’s where my rather grim relay of my exercise routine peters out. Our instructor made it different. She’s a woman who constantly amazes me with her endless repertoire of skills, funky blue hair, and seemingly bottomless pit of energy. She’s kind to everyone, tells funny anecdotes whilst you wobble around in Pilates, and makes time to help you when you’re struggling, be that due to a disability, a minor injury, or just a bad day.

Today though she was wired. On edge. Jittery.

She told us at the start of the class that she’d had some bad news. That she was going to a funeral tomorrow.

She tried to make us laugh about it when she told us the disaster story of her trying to buy a dress to make her feel like a lady. Then she turned the music on louder than ever before and danced like she was possessed. She wanted to ‘dance the blues away’.

And the thing that really blew my mind was this:

Every single stomp of the foot, every twist and turn and shout and jump, was danced for our instructor today.

Every clap, every cramp, every gasping breath was pushed through for our friend; our support and guide.

Every single woman in the room danced that hour for the blues.

 I have never felt such charge in a room, such united love for someone who, despite her wonderful character, remains a stranger in so many respects. Today I felt like a family with a room full of people I don’t know and wouldn’t recognise in the streets.

And it was painfully, heartbreakingly, beautiful.

Life in a New York Minute: Part Three

There is no going to New York without eating breakfast in a god’s honest American Diner. Which is where you would have found us on our second morning: perusing a menu and revelling in the fact that eating pancakes WITH bacon wouldn’t be seen as weird in this magical place not called home.

breakfast

 

…I won’t lie. I had a distinctly uncomfortable feeling as though I was carrying a football around in my belly for the rest of the morning, but it was worth it. Bacon. And Pancakes. That is all.

dinosaurWe then headed Uptown to the Natural History Museum, just about managing to duck inside as the first warm droplets of rain splashed down on the sidewalk. It’s one of those buildings that you can get lost in. Everywhere you look there is marble and giant replicas of impressive dinosaurs and mammoth bones bigger than the tallest man in the room. Sweeping staircases lure you onto one floor, plunge you down to the next, tease you up to the top until your head is spinning and you are so dizzy you have to take a seat. Which we did. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the building under a domed starry sky, listening to Whoopi Goldberg as she took us through space and time.

When I was a child, I used to dream of being an astronaut. My dad bought me a planetarium, with plastic planets that you could paint and fit onto spikes that stretched out from the torch-sun, and that you could spin around in orbits. It even came with a cap for the sun, with constellations on it that you could project onto your ceiling at night. The show we watched catapulted me into space and reminded me of that dream, zoomed me into the void to come face to face with those constellations I had cooed over as a child. It was incredible.

Funnily enough, when we exited, if anything we were more dizzy than when we had entered.

There was a beautiful tower somewhere on the ‘fossil floor’; a beautiful circular structure with curved benches that you could rest on. We took a pew and looked out over Central Park. How could anyone get tired of this view? It was just – and remains to this day – astounding to me that such a clear cut pocket of green can make such a unique and beautiful stamp on a city so big and so utterly consuming. It was as if I was watching the leafy green heart of the concrete body that is New York pulsing fiercely, churning out the life force of the city, pumping blood and oxygen through its veins.

museum tower

That afternoon was a splash through the northern part of the park, ducking under trees for shelter and ultimately giving up and rushing, drenched, to a local bar where Ma settled in for a beer, and us two girls smacked our parched lips over an ice cold water.

horse and carriage 2It wasn’t until dusk, when the rain had stopped, the streets were dry, and our feet had stopped throbbing with pain, that we hopped on the metro like locals so as to clamber aboard a horse and carriage like tourists, and get a royal view of the park. We trotted past runners and cyclists and goggle eyed children, bouncing slightly on our velveteen seats, and waving like the Queen of England before we realised probably no one would get the reference.

horse and carriage

And the day wasn’t over yet! We still made it to Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where we enjoyed our food whilst the waiters performed show songs, dancing on tables and shaking their collection hats for extra singing and dancing lessons. Each one of them were Broadway hopefuls, and I loved that they spent their evenings working to reach their dream, winning over the hearts of the customers and belting out their passions over mac and cheese. It was also the place where I had my first slice of red velvet cake, so naturally, I’m going to sing it’s praises.

dinerThe table to our left had four of the most friendly people I had ever met. They were all from Louisiana and were on a one day stopover between travelling – they’d been to Italy, Spain, France, and England, and were passing through the Big Apple on their way home. They told us fantastic stories about their travels and wished me a happy birthday over cake. One of the women told me to come back to the diner, that she had been three times and she loved it every time – and that I would one day see HER on Broadway. I can say with all the honesty in my heart, that I cannot wait for that day.

We rounded off the day with an evening at the very top of the Empire State Building. Yet another maze to pass through, the view once you get to the top speaks for itself. There is a reason it is a landmark of New York. And a reason it became one of the landmarks of our holiday.

For this one though, I’ll let the picture do the talking.

empire view

If you missed the other instalments of Life in a New York Minute and want to catch up, you can start with the very first page of the story here.

Restless waking

I could have walked for miles today.

I could have walked and walked and walked, through the rain and the wind, and the sky of broken brollies.

I could have walked to the edge of a cliff and floated down to the beach below.

I could have swam across seas and clambered up mountains, and played the bagpipes in the village hall.

I could have thumbed fresh books amidst the shelves of the shops and slipped between their pages.

I could have stood in the froth of the waves and let my toes sink into sand.

* * *

I could have walked and walked and walked today.

If my feet had not led me back home.

1011648_10200500068245876_646759437_n

Riding my pink bicycle into tomorrow

I have been struggling recently. I have been struggling with deadlines; with moving into a new flat and trying to make it feel like home; with exhaustion; with people; with myself. I am tired. And because of that, I have been neglecting this blog. 

I won’t pretend that I’ve been super busy and haven’t possibly been able to write. I’ve had the time. I’ve been able. But I’ve chosen not to, largely because I simply haven’t felt inspired in a long time. I’m not really inspired today, not to write anyway. 

But I have just got back from a firework display at the seafront. My cheeks are cold and my nose is red and I ate some of those ‘fresh donuts’ and now I feel like my heart is about to explode from sugar overdose. I wore my yellow wellies for the first time all season, I sang along to the music in the middle of a crowd that couldn’t hear me, and I felt spirit. That kind of spirit you feel when you know christmas is coming. That kind of something that just makes you smile. 

64230_10200893106831595_1536639570_n

I love Winter. I love the cold and having to wrap up warm. I love sitting wrapped in blankets, nose pressed to the window as rain splatters against it. I love hot chocolate. I love casseroles. I love Halloween and firework night. I love pantomimes and snow ball fights. I love family at christmas. I LOVE Winter.

1385573_10200893124352033_2050723733_n

I found a card in a shop the other day. It’s silly: it has a glittery pink bicycle on the front with one of those ‘life’ quotes. 

A pink bike isn’t just a pink bike.

A pink bike is a portal to another world,

A world of freedom and fun!

Told you. Completely silly. But for some reason, when I saw it in the shop, I had to buy it. It’s sitting on top of my bookshelf, lit up by some fairylights.

So yes, I’m exhausted and tired and want to shut my eyes for the next few days and hope they don’t happen.

But.

I bought myself a picture of a pink bicycle.

I think Winter might be here.

1454636_10200893094551288_673341150_n