the fan spins

Some days I feel tired right down to my bones. The clock ticks, the fan spins, my eyelids become heavier and heavier. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I just want to sleep and sleep, climb into bed for a week or more. Perhaps then I will have some energy, muster up some zest for life. I know it’s in there somewhere.

Maybe it’s the heat, the still air, lazy flies. Men sit in doorways, crouching and shirtless, cigarettes hanging from their chapped lips, glazed eyes and lined faces, creased from listlessly following hundreds of passing footsteps. They seem tired too, almost hazed. Maybe it comes from a lifetime of this heat, with salty sweat and dry beer the only moisture in sight.

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suburban jungle

Sometimes Harriet took cuttings from other people’s gardens.

She usually did it in the evening, while people were inside cooking their dinner and watching the six o’clock news. The light was a dark blue then, the scent of frying meat on the warm evening breeze.

She liked to slip out of her side gate and use the wreath of jasmine that grew along her wooden fence as cover. Tonight the scent was overwhelming, the small white flowers releasing the last of their scent to the day. She checked her surroundings, then crept silently along the fence line, secateurs hidden inside her light blue jacket.

Past the Murdoch’s house, with their hydrangeas looking sad, as always. Harriet tutted quietly to herself as she passed, her old turquoise sneakers scraping against the rough concrete of the pathway. The suburb was quiet. The only sounds were those from the occasional television in someone’s open lounge, or a passing car on the next street over.

As she neared the corner she could see those beautiful roses in the distance, like a fuchsia sail on the sea, bending and beckoning to her in the breeze. Her breath caught in her throat even as she admired them.

Full of renewed vigour she darted under cover of the Holt family’s cherry tree, just in time to hide from a passing van. She poked her head out from between the leaves tentatively, and saw the corner dairy at the end of the street. Cars were pulling in beside the small fish and chip shop, their brake lights just visible in the advancing dusk.

She judged the distance between her hiding place and the roses. It was at least 10 metres, across the open road and then over to the white fence. There was no cover.

In the small house beyond the garden she could see a yellow light on, and the blue flickers of the television against the back wall. She thought she could make out a pair of slippers resting on the coffee table, but couldn’t be sure. The sliding door was open to the evening air.

Her secateurs were ready, gripped in her hand. She could feel her heart beating in her chest. She took a deep breath, and walked quickly out from under the tree and across the street. Already she was across, now walking on the cracked concrete pathway, the weeds jutting through below. Then suddenly she was at the fence, the bright rose bush above her, her heart in her mouth.

She worked fast, locating a young, healthy stem from which the petals had fallen, checking the leaves with hands like lightning. Her secateurs came down decisively, cutting through the firm fibres. Then, just like that, she had it.

Exhilarated and panicky, she peered through the rose bush, her eyes wide, half expecting to see a face staring back at her through the thorns. Then she turned and ran.

Back down the block, past the cherry tree and the Holt’s broken letterbox, past the Murdoch’s sad old hydrangeas, she ran like the wind, the fresh green cutting in one hand, the sharp secateurs in the other. She threw open her old wooden gate, pushing the jasmine out of the way, and once in, slammed it behind her, breathing hard with relief.

Elated, she cradled her new acquisition. Home safe.

a wicked spell

Even through the haze of my mind I am able to understand that this moment is important. Ecstasy casts a wicked spell on my surroundings, pulling down the gossamer sheen that leaves everything just past caring, making colourless moments twinkle and shimmer with delight. I catch visions of smiling mouths, entwined kisses and always the constant, heaving surge of the crowd to the music, so like the swell of the waves that I am helpless, surrendering myself contentedly to its power. I close my eyes and lift my face to the rain, letting the glorious storm run down my face and into my open, wondrous mouth. A hand shimmies into my own, clutching at it, as though tugging me back to earth. Pulling myself easily from the joyful rain I look around, searching. I catch sight of the familiar shape of his smiling face and grin, the happiness swelling in my chest and throughout my stomach, erupting as I gather him to me and cover his face with frenzied kisses. He twists me around until my back is tight against his chest. Slipping his hands around my waist we begin to dance. A new beat begins, the new tentative notes delicately tripping through the lingering thump of the last song. We approve, the crush of people jumping and yelling as one as the beat drops and the new song washes over us like the rain from the tumultuous skies above.

halfway up the steps of the Calvario

The Calvario Steps

The day is warm, the sweat beads on my upper lip and the sun warmed stones beneath me are slippery against my skin. The sun is waning behind me, dropping lower and lower towards the horizon, casting shadows that grow longer with each passing moment. The village clock chimes once, a high, solo note, signalling quarter past seven. Even the air tastes sweeter, the still, hot air more caressing, the arguing tourists passing more insignificant in this new found freedom. Ivy grows up the face of the villa across from me, artfully guided into a perfect arch above the doorway. Everything here is warm, ambient. The colours are terracotta pinks and warm beige; the stones forming the ancient roads are still warm from the Mediterranean sun that rested there, half an hour before.

It is past siesta time and everybody is out. It is mid August, the busiest time of the year in this tiny village, and yet everything is still, tranquil. The humidity muffles the sounds of the restaurants down below, the air too dense to allow the clattering sounds of cutlery and kitchen bells through. I feel as though I am the only person here, even though I can see, high above, a camera laden couple picking their way carefully down the stairs.

I try to imagine winter in Pollenca. The village blanketed in a damp cold that penetrates through to your bones, the cool, drafty stone houses would provide little relief from the biting chill. These smooth stone streets, would they be covered in a thin sheet of ice? Would there be a cap of white snow on top of the Puig? I can’t imagine it. Everything about life here seems to be adapted to this heat, under this oppressive, unwavering, almost ruthless sun. The tiny, hairless dogs seem as though they would hardly survive a winter. I hear them barking now, small intermittent yaps coming from houses all around me. Their feeble barks mingle with the growing and fading chatter of the panting tourists who pass me.

Casita on the Calvario
Casita on the Calvario

They walk confidently, the tourists, yelling at each other often, the women indignant, the men arrogantly knowledgeable. Some walk with an absent minded, almost confused air about them.They stop often to contemplate their new surroundings, and chatter to each other while pointing triumphantly at different landmarks.

The clock chimes again, three alto notes this time. It is a quarter to eight. A warm breeze has picked up, I feel a subtle shift in the evening. The sun has moved lower still, soon it will dip below the far hills into dusk, and later, Pollenca will be bathed once again in a sultry, hot, moonless night.

dandelion seeds – we’re all just blowing in the wind

Does it matter? What we fill this world with while we’re here? Some people say life’s a bitch and then you die, and for some I guess maybe it is like that. But what about the good parts? What about all the beauty? The leaves surrounding you on an autumn walk to work, new soft leather boots snapping decisively on the pavement. Listening to a secret song on your iPod, everybody around you oblivious to the thumping bass line that has you restraining your jiggling feet and smiling to yourself in glorious anticipation of the night to come. The afternoon sun streaming through a kitchen window, lighting the dust motes revolving lazily in the hot air, the happy smell of baking permeating the empty room.

The infinite possibilities, the love that might await you just around the next corner, the thought that whether you catch the 10.15 bus or miss it could subsequently affect your entire life – and the idea that we never know. We never know who just passed us in their car, that they have a music collection identical to ours, or that they also harbour a secret Hello Kitty obsession. We don’t know that the red-haired woman with the high ponytail that we pass on the way to lunch everyday works at the exact company we have been trying to get into for months and months. And we don’t even know that the man who lives in the apartment two floors down is the perfect match for our desperately lonely best friend. There are so many opportunities and potentials that swirl around us everyday, all we have to do is reach out and catch them. But how can we, if we are so oblivious? Maybe we need to open our eyes, and take another look at everything.

find your style

I have always been obsessed with home decor. I spend most of my television time watching home improvement shows, and I love paint stores, mainly for their delicious paint swatches. So I was so happy when I came across this website and it gave my style a label! Go and give it a go, it only takes a minute and then you can namedrop your style to everyone. I got Cottage Chic, Rustic Revival and Contemporary, quite surprising for me!

www.sproost.com

postcards

I wrote postcards today. I just have to stamp them and pop them into a post box.

That moment is so intriguing, when the slippery plastic slips from your fingertips and falls into the dark mail system. The letter is so irretrievable, yet only a half a metre from your fingers. And again, they are just words. Just scribblings on paper, meaningless to half of the world, yet they have so much power over those who do read them. They can bind lovers, break lovers, bring news of sadness, joy and wonder. Today mine were just flippant remarks, idle small talk just to reach out and let my loved ones know I’m still here and thinking about them from time to time. Maybe they already know that, but I like to remind them.