Friday 25 November 2016

The Art of Autumn

Autumn in Cambridge is like a Monet gone mad. Trees and earth and river move around you, and through you, in swirls. You walk into this breathing artwork every day. Nothing is static.

The leaves float down from tress brushing your arms, the river curves, light sieves in through cracks. The bird-man throws his grains in an arc making the gulls swoop down and up. A cocker spaniel runs after a ball. Next to you, moorhens plough ripples in the water. Cyclists peddle by.

And you walk on. You take everything in, you take nothing in.


Tuesday 15 November 2016

A Postcard from Chotto-Ma

We have a ritual. Whenever we travel, we bring back a postcard on which the little girl writes a few words to go with the picture on the other side. Yesterday, I found the postcard we'd bought in Paris, and gave it to her. I asked her to go downstairs and write something while I finished some chores. It could be anything I said - a poem, a thought, a fact - but it had to fit into her postcard.

When I came back downstairs, she was standing there hiding the postcard behind her. She'd written a poem, she said, but that it wasn't any good. She stood there with all the doubts of anyone who'd ever written anything, and shut her eyes tight when I coaxed the postcard out of her fingers and began to read.

I'm sorry, but I'll have to make you read it too, and drag you through my proud-Ma moment. Because her words surprised me, and made me smile for the rest of the day, and made me squish her many times. Thinking that she'd written something lovely and yet stood there so unsure. That she'd chosen every word and every comma with such care. That there were marks where she'd rubbed out a sentence and replaced it with another. (Three times, she later told me.) And that she'd thought all this with her little 8-year-old head.

PS: November 20, 2016
This was accepted for publication by SmokeLong Quarterly, so we now have a little published writer in the house (!)

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Know you

I notice how the rhythm of this blog keeps changing as my life does. Now that I'm trying to edge a bit more time towards my fiction, while trying to work and live a life and get silly with Chotto-ma, I find less time to write to you. Okay, ramble to you. I miss that. (You better miss it too!)

Blogs have their limitations, don't they? You get to know me better than I do you. But, if you've been on any length of this journey with me, it'd be nice to change that.

I closed the Peppercorns Facebook page a couple of years ago. But my personal Facebook is there, and these days it seems easier to connect with people there, in little bursts, when I don't quite find the time to write longer posts. So if you've been reading what I write, and following this blog, please come along and find me on Facebook if you're on it. It's where I share bits of goings-on, in a fairly selfie-free, non-opinionated space. Haha. (No, really.)

Of course, you can add me as a friend, or click 'Follow', depending on the boundaries of your privacy. But hopefully, it'll let me get to know you outside of this blog, where it's me doing most of the talking!

Also: We just got back from Paris, and since I haven't had the time to sit down and put Paris into words, I'm doing Paris in photographs on FB in small daily doses.

You'll find it, and me, linked here.

Come say 'hi'!

Sending you crunchy autumn leaves and hugs,