Word Play


There is a thick lipped rumble tearing from the clouds above, and I think that I was wrong.

I step outside and stand in the porch, arching my neck and breathing in the close air. Rain paints polkas on the pavement at my feet and I shrug my cardigan closer, wrapping it around me like a straight jacket. Your words and mine are tumbling through my mind at break neck speed, crashing into each other and veering off course until I don’t know who said what. Or why.

To my left I can hear the shouts and excitements of teenage boys, their taut voices springing over the garden wall. They are waiting for the strike, just like me. The strip of blinding light that then ignites the sky brings stark contrast to the world. It is disorientating, to see night in the light of day.

Now for the wind: this is like a well-known performance. The flutes and oboes of the sky let loose and tongue great bursts of violent air at my face. Clothes and hair whip around me and into my mouth; I feel it scratching on my tongue but make no effort to remove it.

I fumble at the door handle and hurry back inside as wind tears at my hair. I am a set of scales, with weighted words clunking from your mouth and on to my heart until I dip under the strain.

The door bangs into its frame with a plastic thump, and all sound dies. My chest heaves.


One Thousand Pearl Drops

Pluck me from this world and drop me in to another. One with silence and peace and air and light.

Pick me up by my collar, between finger and thumb, and lay me down in opulent bubbles of pink.

Make me tiny and minuscule. Mould me into a bouncy bread crumb rolling in the palm of your hand.


Stretch me out to be giant and infinite and tall and broad. Promote me to conductor and choreographer and wizard and god.


Breathe fire into me – ignite me as the sun, and moon, and earth, and sea. Crush me into a billion stars –

– throw me into space and see where I land.

And then…

…shake me up, pour me as glitter onto a card made by a tiny human, grubby hands passing me along to her father on his birthday.

Pluck me from this world and lay me down in another. One with silence and peace and air and light.


A ‘Farewell Weekend’ of misty lakes, muddy hikes and public smooching

I have had a truly fabulous weekend.

To ease the transition of me moving back to university and washing my own underwear, and of my family adjusting back to a much quieter house, my mum and sister followed me and my boyfriend home, and stayed overnight.

And strangely enough, it turned out to be quite the adventure.

* * *

Saturday morning arrived and panic ensued. My suitcase wasn’t packed, my room was a mess, and I was stubbornly determined to cook everybody pancakes for breakfast, whether they wanted them or not.

…In retrospect, not the best start to the day.

So I mastered the art of multi-tasking; showering whilst brushing my teeth, drying my hair while throwing clothes haphazardly into bags, shoving my feet into a pair of bright yellow wellies with one hand and flipping pancakes with the other. Against all odds, we made it into the car before nightfall.

Our first stop of the day was Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor. However, in true Dartmoor style, the weather was awful, with thick mists and drizzling rain making the tiny lanes positively terrifying to drive along. It didn’t help that we were exchanging stories of serial killers and monsters…


Unfortunately, once we DID find it, the mists had descended to such an extent that we could barely see a thing. Let me demonstrate.

On a good day, Burrator Reservoir looks like this:



Author: Nilfanion

Author: Nilfanion

But all we could see was this:


Disappointing though this was, we were so relieved at having found it after all that exhausting over-reacting to shadowy silhouettes of trees, that we celebrated our discovery with a picnic of cold pizza and blueberry muffins…in the car of course.

We relaxed that evening with a wonderful meal in the local pub, spending hours chatting over food and drinks, and cramming dessert into our overly stuffed bellies. The short distance from the restaurant to the car seemed extraordinarily long as we waddled across the car park, cursing the goodness of the Belgian waffle.

footpathgate01abigThe next morning, hungry again, we headed to Plymbridge Woods for another picnic and a walk by the river. With my family, you can never just head out for a simple stroll, it always becomes a major hiking experience, and this was no exception. We followed the river up to a weir, strolled across an old railway bridge, clambered up a large muddy hills, hitched ourselves over styles, and smooched our way through kissing gates.

* * *

So, at the beginning of this new week, I’m looking forward to the next adventure and I am beyond content. I’ve had a whole weekend of adventure and discovery, hikes and (looking back on it) lots of food. And all of this, surrounded by the people I love the most in the world.149494_10201168364635909_324880755_n

We were dropped off Sunday evening with wind chaffed cheeks, sore feet and sadness in the air as we waved goodbye to the retreating car.

But boy, what a fantastic farewell weekend it was.

(I even mastered the art of camouflage.)