13 May 2013

Dreams of heat and light

Summer arrived in Great Britain a couple of weekends ago: the temperature rocketed higher than in Spain. We all peeled off our vests and long socks, sped towards the nearest coast and exposed our pale wintered skin to Vitamin D and sunburn. It lasted 12 hours. We are now back in our winter coats. In Folkestone, on the south coast, last Saturday I was wearing a North Face beany hat and lined leather gloves. It's the middle of May. This should be Spring. I stare at the online weather forecast in the hope that the depth of my desperation might change it. No such luck: this week is rain, rain, mostly cloudy, rain. And a nipple stiffening 12 degrees. 

My anticipation of barbecuing and get-togethers with friends and family around our new garden table and chairs is diluting with each cold morning wind and the inevitable downpour. Did I really make this chicken satay, grill it in the open air, serve it with sticky rice and chilled rose wine one balmy evening? 


Yes. Two years ago in the garden of our old house in Antibes. I suddenly miss being there, the reliability of the climate, living almost continually outdoors for 7 months of the year. 

all this green forgiving the rain - a haiku that gave me the title of my latest book. And when the sky does this, perhaps we have no choice but to forgive it. 

I once tried to find the end of rainbow, tracking one in my car along the twists and turns of rural Kent, always finding myself to its left or right. 'It can't be done,' Tony told me when I got home. A rainbow isn't fixed in a specific spot. We see the refracted colours of the water drops at an angle relative to the sun's rays. 

But Google 'finding the end of a rainbow' and you'll read people's accounts of standing in the ends of rainbows, or driving through them. Who's right? 

I didn't try to find the end of this evening's rainbow. Instead I tried to cheer up the new garden furniture whose chair cushions remain wrapped in thick plastic. And the barbecue that awaits assembly in the shed. Keep calm and think of heat, I said. And light. They'll come.


fresh figs and honey
the longest day seems as if
it will never end



Hungry Writing Prompts
  1. Write about taking off your clothes.
  2. Write about anticipation.
  3. Write about having no choice.
  4. Write about a rainbow.
  5. Write a letter of hope.