I open the lounge curtains to find a blotch on the window it has arrived in the night. Later in the morning it is still there. I use a discarded note to the milkman to lever away the tiny snail depositing it in the bobbing hydrangea.
As I fill the kettle my eyes meet those of the grey squirrel on the little fence a yard beyond the kitchen window. It looks away and scurries quickly down my neighbour's garden path.
In the back garden beyond ours a fat tabby prowls as a wood pigeon settles on the roof.
After the rain I watch a blackbird digging worms out of the recently mown lawn. It eyes me too but is in no hurry to wander under the willow tree and into the hedge bottom.
In the bathroom today the spider is nowhere to be seen.
upstairs and downstairs four hours in all sparying dusting vaccing polishing dehoming spiders sweeping out dead ants from behind the tumble-dryer unearthing an odd sock two pieces of jigsaw and an old toy car tipping a vase of flowers over the television moving chairs to find unfaded bits of carpet
after they've gone we rearrange disturbed ornaments search for the handpainted ashtray that was under the vase they knocked over empty the dishwasher and microwave a late lunch
stark sharp sentinel standing on top of Winter Hill illumined by the light of the early morning sun seen from my bedroom window thirty miles away for the first time in twelve months since the counci; felled the trees that blocked the view
one hour on - the moor's outline fades into the clouds
and so the webmaster slept dreaming of nested tables in a whirlpool of jpegs his gifs weren't interlaced there was no longer any sense in ordered lists fonts changed size headings failed to stack dead links spewed 404s his body was unsafe color the clock ticked on the alarm didn't sound the sun shone through a window hus style sheets fell off and so he awoke
So here I am mid-morning lounging on the lazyboy; I've been up for hours, had a shower, done bacon and eggs, checked my email, cleared the spam, picked the pinta off the doorstep as I greeted the postman, brought the laundry down, set the washing-machine; so now I settle down to listen to the video-recording of last week's "Just a minute" on freeview digital radio -- the phone rings and it isn't a distant call centre selling a new mortgage or telling of a holiday I've won in a competition I never entered or of how my postcode has come up on their computer -- I can be a show-house -- but this time it is the secretary of a society of which I'm a life member; he wants to know if I am still me have I still got a life; seems the last issue of the society's transactions was returned marked "gone away" but I haven't, I'm still here and ready for a fresh pot of tea
Take a pair of ewes a squeeze of bat's blood marinate for 17 hours in a vat of boiling ogre filter through a gauze made of webbing wrought by the black widow feed to the princess if she be sick sell her to the paparazzi give the dregs to an artist in leicester for use in his next exhibition
That year we were caravanning near Stranraer. A poster near the harbour tempted us. An Ulster Bus tour to the Giant's Causeway. The cost, less then the normal return ferry fare. But it left at noon and returned at midnight. We couldn't leave our chinese whippet alone in the van all that time. Meandering down some country lane, we found ourselves on tracks in a wood. The sign said "The Kennels". It wasn't a commercial kennels but the home of the Wigtownshire Hunt. The keeper heard our story. agreed to take in our dog the following day. We went to Ireland, surveyed the Antrim coast, climbed the causeway. The return ferry was late. A points failure at Crewe had delayed the mail-train. The outgoing ferry had waited for it. We rolled back to the caravan at three in the morning. Later we went to the kennels. Our lazy dog hadn't slept with the hounds. The keeper of the pack had warmed to her soft eyes. She had spent the night in his cottage.
overnight sprinkle of snow on shed roof gone by seven-thirty a flurry of flakes by eight gives way to rain to sun to snow to rain to sun to snow to rain the afternoon market is busy cold shoppers shuffle into the warm mall for tea and a toasted teacake outside the stall-holders pack up early
midnight: a cat howls 3 am: fox raiding an overturned wheelie-bin 6 am: milk-bottles rattle 9 am: horns blaring at several junctions noon: schoolkids gather outside the chip-shop 3 pm: range-rovers on double-yellows 6 pm: the early evening news 9 pm: a watershed for walking dogs midnight: a cat howls
They want the supermarkets to open until midnight but guess even the ushers are watching. Bones whisper of throttled blue; the starred fury of country images when light betrays her nakedness denying nothing but the obscure harmony of intricate muscles like when he's going to the bottom of pretty flesh amid hailstones which they swallow. Red speaks of any nice thing to force open human inconvenience in the chaffinch-haunted wood where cold hands knock against the war, dizzy with Catherine-wheels.