of gorse! (16/July/18)

… and another thing, Anglesey seems to have a county flower, the Spotted Rock-rose, Tuberaria guttata, which curiously is not that well-known and not everywhere here, I wonder what the value is of having a symbol for a place that hardly anyone even knows let alone has seen, irrespective of it being an attractive plant and of conservation importance, but not it seems so much cultural importance which I would think may be a more significant reason for a choice… but what is ubiquitous and evident throughout the year is one of which it is said that if there’s ever a time it’s not in flower somewhere then love is lost, so the lore goes, ’m talkin’ ‘bout Gorse, Ulex spp, like the rock-rose also yellow but there the similarities end… it boasts spiny green leaves, smells of coconut, found in hedgerows, actually even making entire hedges on its own, on dunes, in gardens, on moor, rocky outcrops and often the thinnest of soil, bog, grassland, roadside verges, it’s everywhere you turn and I’d say pretty much everyone knows what it is with perhaps the exception of people to dim to notice anything beyond their own nose…. but it’s already been proven time and time again, no one listens to me anyway…. there doesn’t seem to be a bird for the county yet and it’d probably be either brave or foolish of me to suggest one so strong and vociferous can emotions be with regard to birds, favourite or otherwise… so… call me brave or foolish, or both, because I’m risking it and nominating the Herring Gull… I hear gasps of shock, horror, disbelief!… are you mad?!… well, a bit yes, but I bet no one else has it as theirs, quite possibly because it arouses strong opinions but it’s certainly an underdog, which is a strange thing to say about a bird but ‘underbird’ just doesn’t sound right…. it’s a grossly misunderstood bird all too often blamed for our own actions and faults and probably suffers at the hands of anthropomorphism more than any other bird… perhaps less controversial choices would be the Raven or the Barn Owl, Chough though I think Cornwall’s already bagged that one, or Puffin though some where’s bound to have snaffled that one too, all for good reasons of course, perhaps a little obvious but hey, remember I am the one suggesting Herring Gull… outliers in a poll might be the Sandwich Tern though only a summer breeder, not unlike another fave of mine the rare and overlooked Black Guillemot…… there’s my mixed bag of feathers to comb over…… county mammal?.. well there aren’t many to choose from and the most we have of any are sheep though they wouldn’t fulfill the brief of not being at least a wild animal and for all there ae some bolshie sheep none are technically wild… so I’d go with Otter though, Brown Hare or Red Squirrel though I think the latter would be a disingenuous choice… what about the Rabbit?… certainly no shortage of them and like sheep, everywhere… what about a county beetle?….  ok, time to stop now………

© 2018 robert greig

no rain today (11/July/18)

what I learned today, well yesterday actually now as I put pen/ finger to paper/ keyboard… the middle day of the year is 2nd July, I just worked it out, day 183 (excluding leap years which mess it up a bit) and yet no one pays it a blind bit of attention, maybe it can be recognised (or not!) as Neglected Day…… I just worked out that it hasn’t rained here, on Anglesey that is, since 20th June and it’s now the 11th July with no sign of rain in the forecast until next week at the earliest even if it happens at all… this is almost unprecedented, as is that since mid-June and even before the temperatures have lingered in and above the middle twenties and even thirties Celsius…… who needs water anyway when we have climate change and endless sunbathing opportunities for the feckless and ignorant… but then…
it rained!….
… on the very day I said it hasn’t rained since… were those the magic words all along?… who’d have thought…… although the first attempt was merely a few globlets of rain which lasted all of two minutes and 10 seconds… ‘ish… yes, I timed it, I’m that sad…… but then…
a little more which lasted longer over half an hour and even though dampened the patio was still barely enough to bother a rain gauge… and then…
a rainbow!…
… of all things and barely took any rain to make one but there it was, faint, incomplete, hanging like an apology and no explanation as to where it and its cohort rain had been all these weeks… it grew more rainbow bit by bit weirdly sliding across the sky as it did it’s wake fading as it did like dissipating vapour trails…… and then…
it stopped raining…
… I think the plants were quite disappointed at this anti-climax as it barely touched the soil beneath them never mind enough to leach down to their roots…… then I went to bed, sleep, woke around 4am, peeked, it had rained more, wasn’t now but clear evidence, ever-so slightly moister paving stones and even a few leaves still retained a glisten or two… so hah!…. it had sneakily precipitated overnight but again immeasurable in anything but nanomillimetres, but still… it ‘rained’, or got a bit damp…. so here we are, day 192 past the point of no return in a year of two halves, or twelve twelfths, or 365 three hundred and sixty fifths……… I never said my maths was great…..

© 2018 robert greig

the discombobulated cloud (8/July/18)

the stray cloud couldn’t find which way to go as it hung there all discombobulated… why was it even here, where had it come from?… why is it asking itself these question it clearly has no idea the answers too?… I suppose it’s what we do when we are mystified by something, as indeed the stray, discombobulated cloud was… he wasn’t very big at best and worried that perhaps he found an answer he might fragment and vaporise, even now he felt his fringes decidedly wispy to say the least but all in all, despite not knowing why he was there, all alone, alone, all alone in the big wide blue, he was still clearly there, a whole cloud and nothing but a cloud… but the only one… had he slept through the moment all the other got up and flew south, or north, or even west, maybe east, migrating to better climes for clouds?…… now he was just annoyed with himself for having overslept or been daydreaming at such a crucial moment, he’s always doing that and he knows it, “head in the clouds” as others tell him, he’d kick himself if he had legs… he shook himself out of this momentary self-pity in case he accidentally rained tears which he knew wouldn’t best please those way down on the ground below, the dots that move around like, well dots, he didn’t have another word for them and luckily ‘dots’ came to mind which is just as well as he did prefer single syllable words as they seem easier for clouds to pronounce, he didn’t know why this was but some things just are, as it seems him being here totally out of place in a vast of blue…. at least sky only has a single syllable, he told himself…… and he’d realised he had had the same view for hours now, or minutes, he couldn’t tell, time wasn’t something clouds were particularly skilled not being horologists or anything suchlike, as they have way too many syllables, so, he thought, where was the wind?… even the wind has abandoned me, flown south, or north, or maybe west or possibly east, he didn’t know, like everything else at the moment seemed out of his increasingly wispy grasp… more wisps!… he just realised in all this reverie he’d got wispier, like someone was combing him out… out of the sky?… is this what happened to the other clouds, were they combed away by some demon barber or worse, a hair sky’list!?…… he felt an exclamation and question mark were required due to the ever-baffling and worrying nature of events… he felt very blue right now, as blue as the sky almost which was as blue as sky get he thought and as blue as he’d maybe ever seen, and seemed to be getting bluer… and bluer… and bluer… and…… hold on, I’m blue, not white, and where are my wispy bits?… and wait, hold on, I don’t feel cloudy anymore, I feel… sky’y… if that’s even a feeling then I feel it, he curiously wondered… and if clouds could smile then he did as he’d become sky and joined all the other clouds which had also become sky in the rising heat of the day, becoming the finest blue adding to the finest blue that already stretched from north to south to east to west.

(this was one of a number of endings I wrote for this wispy tale……)

© 2018 robert greig