Sunday, 29 September 2013


She sat up in bed and got up and got dressed.

A voice called after her from behind the door left ajar. It was left ajar out of consideration, because he didn’t want her to feel alone; but to her it was inconsideration for not giving her any privacy.

“Gwyn are you up?” The call again.

Pulling the faded blue suitcase off the chest of drawers, she creaks the lid open and blows away the dust. How long had she been there, and how much stuff had she accumulated? The last she remembers was unpacking her plays and novellas out of this beaten-up well-loved case, and settling in. An aeon ago.

The door gently opens and he stands there just looking at her. 

She’s doing a lot when before she’d been doing not very much. And while it was a waste he had got used to her not doing very much because Leon’s girlfriend was a depressant. Or he thought so, because why else would she lie in bed half-dressed for days on end smoking cigarettes, half-way, stubbing them out, and then starting a new one? Why would a sane person do that?

“Why are you packing your clothes?”

“Because I’m leaving.”


Eyebrows slightly raised; simultaneously raising the chipped cup of tea up to chapped lips he asks,

“Why are you leaving?”

“Because I’m sad.”


“Why are you sad? Leaving won’t help. Do I make you sad?”

“No. Unhappy. Alright? Leave me alone for a while will you.”

Instead of doing that Leon stands and watches her as he sees her filled with feist and life like the days they first met. She flings her sheer blouses hung up in the wardrobe across the room, where they crumple and fall onto the bed, the open mouth of the old blue suitcase agape. Gasping for air it looks like. He used to like her then, but he still likes her now, but not in the same way.

“How have I made you unhappy?”

She swings around on her little ballet feet and pulls down scarves off  the lamps and shelves she’s draped them over. She tries to answer,

“A person can’t make another person unhappy. It’s the situation that’s making them unhappy. You’re fine. I’m unhappy.”

“Will you stop packing your things, please.”

She folds some socks and walks closer to him, in relation to the room that is, and places the yellow socks in her suitcase.

“Where did we meet Leon?”

“In a club.”

It was the truth, they had met in a bar-sort-of-club where one of their respective friends was having a birthday. Neither of them could remember whose friend it was that was turning twenty-five, or was it twenty-six, because now they only had shared friends.

“It’s so gross don’t you think?” Gwyn replied, “we met in a club. What sort of thing is that?”

“I don’t know. Lots of people meet in clubs. That’s one of the ways people meet people in a city.”

“But I don’t want to meet you in a club. I’d like to have met you somewhere better.

“Like where?”

“On a yacht. At a dinner party.  At a festival. At some social occasion that I can look fondly back on.”

Leon let’s out a sigh and leans back on the wall and puts some of his weight on a radiator.

“And then where did we go for our first date?”

Swilling some of the left over tea in his chipped cup he says,

“In a cafe.”

“Exactly. A cafe.”

Gwyn is now opening a window and patting the curtains down to get rid of the dust, except the room is now filling with dust particles. He thinks, maybe she is doing it on purpose to bring on his hayfever so he would leave her alone to let her have her tantrum, but strangely he doesn’t want to sneeze, he wants to cry a little.

“What’s wrong with that? A cafe. That’s perfectly normal for a first date - what would you have wanted?”

“A zoo. Somewhere less predictable.”

More than half her things are now gone, out of sight. So fast. How did that happen?

“I make you unhappy because of things I did in the past? Gwyn you’re being unreasonable, how can I change those things, they’ve already happened.”

“That’s what I’m saying. It’s not you it’s the whole situation! I’m tired of it and the way it panned out and the way it started and so I’m unhappy. I can’t change the past but I can the future, so I’m leaving. I want to do it again but this time with flourish so I don’t end up curled up in bed dreaming of another world. I need to go.”

“But -” He’s angry now, angry like a kid who’s been told off for something he doesn’t understand, “- they’re our memories.”

“Fuck the memories. Fuck the sentiment.”

She pulls her bulging suitcase to; off the bed it slides and her bare feet now have plimsoles on. Mucky things. Her hair is soft and unkempt and she looks like a nymph. He looks like a strained hero. There’s not much left to say. He gives an apologetic cough and she walks past him through the doorway and doesn’t glance up as she drags the case down the stairs. Slam. Gone.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

It Sort of Sounds Like You’re Leaving

The luxury of the boat will be missed. Dearly. The lapping of water on the hull as you doze in and out of sleep. The lack of melodrama. The inconsistent tides, never knowing when one will be afloat or ashore. A lot has changed but not very much. One lucky one left to the Eurasian fields, if you can call them that, perhaps they are mountain ranges. All I know is nothing; then the underdog came travelling across railroads and tracks. Us three, we are moving in together and of course, we’re scared. So damn scared of the shackles, but we’re doing it because bricks and mortar and commutes are what the Normals do. We have to do it someday to get anywhere.

Reminders of beautiful summer days live on. So much sentiment I want to hurl. I tried and fell over, failed and stood back up. We all have to fail to succeed (wise words Owen). I just feel a little bit disheartened by it all, you know? but when I walk past the brightly lit windows of the library and I see you bent over, concentrating on scraps of paper and faded textbooks, filled with equations, I feel hope stirring and then gushing toward me. You’re putting pen to paper to absorption within the brain so that you can one day board a flight and not have to come back to this lonely town. Now that’s brilliant. He’s putting in the groundwork to escape and I don’t know how that feels, not really.


When middle class girls get angry they cry. Isn’t that right Rosa?
‘How about working class girls?’ you asked,
‘They kick off.’ Don’t you think?
‘How about then, upper class girls?’
‘They don’t get angry... because they don’t have to.’

No body is made better than any body else yet we are all made different. Man is equal but not the same. And it’s what you make of it that matters.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

A Bell On My Bike

“Did I tell you? Someone put a bell on my bicycle.”

“What do you mean someone put a bell on your bike?”

“I left it at Deptford station for a few hours and when I came back there was a bell on my bike, where there hadn’t been before.”

I went over to her bicycle and there certainly was a bell on the bike handle. It gave a clean sharp ring when you pulled the clip back and let go. 

“There wasn’t a bell on there before was there?” She looked at me with big inquisitive eyes; she sometimes reminded me of an aiai.

“I don’t know. Was there?”

“I don’t think so. Or the other possibility is that one of the mechanics did it for me whilst I stored it in the dockyard.”

“Why would they do that?”

“Because they are nice.”

In honour of her leaving to Georgia she held a party at an acquaintance’s house and invited all her friends. The torrential rain put people off but still many came. It was a great party. 

Monday, 9 September 2013


22:03. Oh, bollocks it’s too late to call now. It’s past ten.

Punch the numbers in to the phone screen (telephone receivers are of a bygone age), tap tap tap and then ring ring - I hope it’s not too late. I don’t want to wake them up on a Monday night…

Granny: Hello Burray 236?

Rimi: Happy Birthday Granny! Sorry it’s so late, I just forgot but I knew it was today, I meant to call earlier and I wanted to send you a card but I forgot - and I know I called yesterday, on Sunday, but I completely forgot it was your birthday today and I really I just wanted to really say happy birthday.

Granny: Oh thank you darling.

Rimi: Happy Birthday. Have you had a nice day - what did you do?

Granny: We went out for dinner

Rimi: Ooh that’s nice. Where did you go?

Granny: To the Sands Hotel.

Rimi: Lovely. What did you eat?

Granny: Well, for my main course I had lamb

Rimi: Lamb! That’s different.

Granny: I like lamb, but your Grancha doesn’t like lamb.

From off-side
Grancha: I do like lamb… (mumble mumble muffled words)

Granny: Did you hear that?

Rimi: No, not quite.

Granny: Grancha says he does like lambs but only when they’re in a field.

Rimi: That’s sweet

Granny: Not to eat.

Rimi: Yes, I got that.

Chuckles again (she has a nice chuckle, like a clucking hen)

Rimi: So how old are you?

Granny: Do you really want to know?

Rimi: Yes

Granny: Seventy-nine.

Rimi: Wow. That’s not a number you hear too often is it.

Granny: That’s right. I’m old old old!

Rimi: But you’ve still got the spirit!

Granny: Yes, I suppose I do.

Rimi: What did Grancha have for dinner?

Granny: What did Grancha have for dinner? What did you have for dinner…

From off-side
Grancha: I had… (mumble mumble muffled words)

Granny: Oh I remember! Grancha had scallops and some Orkney cheese.

Rimi: Yum

Granny: And for pudding he had... what did you have?

Long pause

Rimi: Granny?

Granny: My brain’s a bit tired so I’m trying to think

Rimi: Take your time


Granny: A white chocolate tear-drop!

Rimi: A white chocolate tear-drop?

Granny: Yes a white chocolate tear-drop. I’ll get him on the phone so he can tell you about it. He’s dozing off but I know he’d like to tell you himself.

Rimi: Ok

Granny: Bye for now –

Switched receivers (they still have receivers in Orkney)

Grancha: Hullo sweetie-pie

Rimi: Hello Grancha!

Grancha: Are you well?

Rimi: Yes thanks. Tell me about your truffle.

Grancha: My what?

Rimi: Your truffle; the pudding you had at the Sands.

Grancha: Well it wasn’t a truffle

From off-side
Granny: It was like a… (mumble mumble higher pitched muffled sounds)

Grancha: Ooh, my white chocolate tear-drop.

Rimi: Yes, tell me about that.

Grancha: Well it was quite difficult to eat actually.

Rimi: How so?

Grancha: Couldn’t break easily through the shell. Was like trying to eat an egg with a small spoon – a hard boiled egg. I’ll pass you back to Granny now.

Rmi: Ok.

Grancha: Love you lots

Rimi: Love you too Grancha, sleep well.

Switched receivers

Granny: Well thank you for calling my dear, it’s really rounded off the day splendid.

Rimi: I love you Granny.

Granny: I love you too. Now good luck moving off the boat, I think you’ve probably stayed on the boat long enough now. It must be getting cold on the river?

Rimi: It is. Autumn’s setting in.

Granny: Time to find a new home but you know you can always come back here whenever you want. We’ll be waiting for you.

Rimi: I know. Love you. Good night. And happy birthday.

Click goes the sound of their receiver and I can hear the ducks quacking up at the moon outside. It’s probably time to go ashore.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Cool To Be Lonely

There are people marauding everywhere carrying packages of emoticons wrapped up in cells hand-held, both hands, before them. How people ever interacted with people they weren’t already connected to baffles me. What does it look like to be lonely these days? Everyone has a way of covering it up. It used be hats now it’s a device, a more intricate and far less mysterious device. Phones, headsets, gadgets. Only the truly brave wear loneliness with pride, in true fashion.

It falls somewhere between desolation and delirium. For loneliness to work one has to be in it, that is alone, and why else would anyone find themselves there unless on the very edge of something. Loneliness is settling and sometimes a person has to feel it to appreciate the other side, which is company, and good company at that. Say, feeling lonely is natural; not something to be covered up by modern living like some dirty secret; something to be done once in a while to remind humanity of its threadbare way of existence in an albeit cool city. It’s cool to be lonely, sometimes.


Looking in all the drawers for cigarettes.

Rummaging around, opening the drawers - going through ruckasacks - coat pockets - and opening and shutting the fridge door. Find scraps of paper, packet of paracetamol, ball of string, toothbrush, golden thread, Ibuprofen, no damn cigarettes. Settle for a muckefuck instead. And settle on this computer typewriter instead. Yeah.

We stood beside one another in a moment of unknown significance.

Three people meet at an Eat café (but one of them can’t make it). So it’s a date. A Blind Date. A spontaneous thing like combustion. We meet and she says,
‘Have you been here long?’
And he says, ‘I’ve been here 4 minutes.’
A good start don’t you think? Precise and to the point.
She gives him one of her funny looks and they embark.

The other person is MIA in Berlin. Who knows in a whore house or on a barge, what’s the difference? It’s all art anyway. He has a predilection for whisky but can’t admit it. She knows it and describes it as an addiction (privately).

‘Enough about me tell me more about yourself’
‘Well –‘
‘I’m twenty-seven by the way, just so you know, I’m twenty-seven.’
There’s a pause so she gives him that look again but this time it’s slightly on the verge of encouragement.
‘How old are you?’ (him)
‘How old do I look?’ (her)
‘Judging from your position in life, where you are and what you're currently doing…’ I hasten to add she doesn’t like hypebole
‘… I would say, not by the way you look but judging by the way you are – somewhere between twenty-five and twenty-eight?’
‘I’m twenty-four.’
Putting his coffee cup down firmly, ‘Well done.’

A moon in a bottle. A landscape of dreams. Freudian conclusions, that’s Surrealism for you. Pictures hanging the wrong way round portraits of impulses and fear congealed with time. Expanses of objective nothingness, which is everything in the mind’s eye. She’s heartbroken and she’s consuming everything with her eyes and teeth and smiles. She hates the lifeblood and wants to freeze it and chuck it out into the Arctic Ocean where there’s an abundance of ice cubes, but not, shards.

(Last Year) They stood beside one another in a moment of unknown significance.

Monday, 2 September 2013


It was like what it was in the 90’s

                       It could have been the 60’s

                                        And it felt like our 20’s