at sea (8/May/18)

here I am again~~~~ at sea~~~~ having finished yet another book, reading it that is, and this time it’s serious, I don’t seem to have the next one lined up as I usually do, at least one, so am decidedly adrift like a raft of fire ants at the whims of an oceans currents… it could be a good thing but I need my anchor of a book on the go, a world into which I can retreat at any given moment and am likely to end the day immersed within and perhaps even begin a day the same ensconced in a bubble of page-turning plots and twists…… don’t get me wrong, I have ideas, I always have a head full of must-reads, often not the obvious ones as some of those I’ve already read and others, well, I only read what I want to read, will enjoy, and not what others think I should or are generally thought of a essential to one’s literary credibility…… so after breakfast my first task of the day is to scour the bookshelves, at home and if no joy, if nothing floats my fire ant raft then the bookshop, luckily there are still some around despite certain agenda-mongers making us think that physical print is “so last century” and “who goes to bookshops anymore when I can get everything (everything?) I need from an exploitative, monopolising, overbearing, cynical online shop named after some big river or other somewhere in a forest somewhere”… cautionary note, even rivers come to an end eventually, probably in the very same sea I’m anxiously drifting like a raft of fire ants and as swimming upstream would be ludicrously wasteful then I’ll be going to the bookshop, though I worry a raft of fire ants suddenly turning up in a bookshop may cause more of a stir than would be intended…… I think my metaphors are beginning to become a tad metaphysical, where was I?…… see, without a book, a huge mug of coffee and a big squishy armchair I’m…. at sea…… I’m hoping for inspiration as to my next adventure though at the same time quite stubborn with a tendency to ignore any recommendations over discovering my own new worlds…. I imagine fire ants are quite stubborn too…… regardless, it will be a book-proper, hardback or paperback, not fussy, as I read with my hands as well as my eyes…. … … …  I wonder, what do fire ants read………….

© 2018 robert greig

the aftersnow (4/March/18)

cabin fever…
stir crazy
time to take more than a few steps from my front door, it’s been three days now, fizzing with the need to stretch my legs… time to pop out of my box… the storm abated the snows passed… and it could be the last of the snow…. I unearthed my walking boots and donned one layer, two, three, four layers, looking to all intents like the Incredible Hulk, although my clothes aren’t shredded (I’m still baffled as to how, when expanding his body to three or four times his normal size, he manages to keep his trousers on, albeit tattered around the knees, while all else it ripped away… uncanny) and I’m not green, I enter to outside but this time I mean business and head off on the Ring Walk… a local walk I’ve termed that which goes from my village to the next in a sort of ring of roads, paths and beach to end ultimately nice and neatly back home…

Emma’s (as in Storm Emma) skirts still trailed an icy breeze-cum-wind in her wake but the gusts where a thing of yesterday now as I crunched through the remains of the snow under a clear’ish blue sky my walk was soon defined by birds… birds, birds everywhere… never mind spring, it’s winter when some of the best birds and most numerous flocks abound and without the hang-ups of breeding and nesting and defending territories they are just there with one thing on their mind…. food…… as such it’s surprisingly easy to get reasonably close as their usual stand-offishness is outweighed by the need to eat… lapwings, my favourite bird, squeaked from the wide open fields still tilled with furrows of snow, seemingly clumsy in flight on closer inspection shows them more than adept at the whims of anything the wind can throw at them…. among them the curlew looking embarrassed at having such a long curvy snout, but all the better to probe the depths of the soil with for only the tastiest grubs and wigglies…… the usual suspects of garden birds, although none less important, robins, dunnock, blue tits, chaffinch, goldfinch, wren, on and one and on until… movement on the roadside verge soon revealed a plethora of redwing and fieldsfare inches from passing cars and hopping before me keeping a wary yellow eye-ringed eye and just that wary distance away…

the biggest surprise came on the beach… first a single redwing, on the beach!.. most unusual… then on closer inspection the weed-strewn stranded remnants of the spring tide and Storm Emma a shuffling… it’s alive!… teeming with birds of many ilk feasting on the freshly-beached buffet of invertebrates within… more redwings, with redshanks and dunlin and knot and turnstones and curlew, squabbling starlings, bossy jackdaws, a rock pipit or two and most surprising of all golden plovers rarely seen on the ground in such numbers together, even a pied wagtail getting in on the act while perched on a rock a male stonechat stood unseen and watching… unseen, except by me… and another slice of the pie a bar-tailed godwit… two… no, three!…… it seemed the normal rules of shoreline etiquette had gone to the dogs as I watched rarely-seen fights between redshanks over this abundance of morsels…

no, I haven’t forgot… gulls, gulls, black-headed and herring as usual everywhere… I say that with glee as for me they’re a touchstone and if they weren’t there then I’d be seriously worried…

lunch!… musn’t forget… the best ever garlic bread, ever, along with the most moreish seafood chowder… perfect for an aftersnow day…… is this the last of the white?…… I wouldn’t put away the layers just yet……

© 2018 robert greig

volcanoes and turmeric, coffee and cactus (18/Feb/18)

oh I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be beside the sea…… two days at the seaside that’s where I’ve been, on a Playdough bed… strange?… very… note: never ever sleep on a memory foam mattress… it’s like sleeping in Playdough which may be fun to play with but hell to sleep on, my shoulders feel like they’ve gone fifty round with a punch-bag… as the punch-bag!…
cactus and coffee, cactus and coffee, why was the cactus, or in fact cacti, sat by the coffee machine, I wonder… sounds like a “why did the chicken cross the road” joke… never mind that, the lemon, ginger and (drum roll….. the icing on the cake, to coin a pun) turmeric slice was yellow heaven in a cake slice…… oh no! the volcanoes are going to erupt! said the tiny girl in a half-casual, dream-like tone kicking sand in her over-sized woolly bobble-hat… oh well, there’s always time for coffee…… although apparently Wales experienced an earthquake today, or was it a tremor, 4.4 on the Richter Scale… I didn’t feel it so that’s all I can say about it, even in the right place at the right time I miss it!……
Red-breasted merganser in the bay
I tried  to chat
but it seemed he had little to say
he was focused on fish
with a lick of his lips
and barely a swish
he dived and vanished again.
ah yes, Honduran coffee, a special kind of bliss… I wonder about volcanoes, if they erupted turmeric we’d all be turned incredibly, indelibly, edibly yellow, even our hair, how cool would that be!…. after all they do spew sulphur so… but turmeric would be much better… note: memory foam beds = the epitome of discomfort…. once upon a time there was a woman with a white guitar, she also had a coffee and dabbled in calligraphy… time for a book me thinks… or three!… I got three, all for me, treats for me, me, me, ME!

© 2018 robert greig