I am sat upright in bed, its Saturday morning, all in the attic are asleep. The oven buzzer is downstairs, so I have set the stop clock on my mobile phone. 30 minutes to write. It sounds wet on the roads. As the cars pass, I hear the water sloshing under the tires. The road is busy. Footsteps on the stairs. I wonder who it is, and whoever it is they retrace their footsteps back up.
There are not many secrets in this tiny house, all movements are measured. All voices can be heard, by those in the house and by our neighbours on each side. A sandwich of small properties hugging close to a river.
I am glad it is Saturday. I am glad it is the weekend, no school run, a slow start. Spoke to mum last night, they were still without electricity and had gone to bed to keep warm. I do worry about them, all their freezer food must be ruined, mum mentioned warming food on top of the stove. All in darkness, it is so dark. There are no street lights, only the lights of the passing cars on the road that runs by. Their house sits on a hillock on the bog, surrounded by sheep and heather and gorse and in the far distance the mountains. You cannot see the sea but you can hear it. Dad sent me a message late last night. The storm had knocked down the wall in their garden, it must have been extremely fierce. I read reports of gusts of over 110mph recorded off the coast of Lewis, the most powerful recorded since 1970. I offer to help rebuild the wall.
I think about an emergency kit for my parents, solar charger, back up battery for their phones and a gas camping stove, wind up radio and torches. Not even to be able to make a cup of tea. Emergency’s need cups of tea.
Yesterday was a right off. I had to tidy and clear my studio, so that workmen could get in to fix a radiator. I will be glad of the radiator, but could have done without the disruption. I had planned to complete my tax return, now it will hang on into next week, such a bore. The weather was foul when I went out to buy some lunch, wet and cold and wet, bucketing it down. I noticed some bits and bobs on the way, some kitchen foil moulded around the cobbles of the street, run over by cars, one child’s shoe that had belonged to Imogen discarded.
With all the sorting, I found the pasta necklace that Naoise had made for me in reception, I have a matching orange ring somewhere in the house. I found dead moth bodies on the studio window sill.
Lots of sorting, lots of bits and bobs and piles of paper. Piles of the childrens’ drawings and this and that, and notes to myself. Need to get back to the drawings. I don’t think I will be able to work in the studio until the workmen have fixed the radiator. It will be good to have heat, the old heating system consists of blown air. It works to warm the space but its loud and the air blows paper around so you cannot draw beneath it.
The news of terrorist attacks in Paris, at Charlie Hebdo and at the kosher supermarket have filled me with sadness and disgust and worry. This attack on freedom of speech on cartoonists on innocent people. I read that some hostages at the siege in the kosher supermarket, a father and his toddler son hid themselves in the refrigeration unit. How terrifying. You cannot escape the news. It fills radios and mobile phones with its messages. The news unfolds before us in lines of tweets and social media. News is 24 hour ever available.
I think about my mum and dad in their wind battered home keeping warm. I think about the moths that died battering against the window pane of the studio. I think about the fear that innocent people feel, and my fear in hearing of it. I think about fragility. Fragility of life.
I hear Syd talking to his friend in the bedroom upstairs. I have my brood safe, each in his bed safe and warm and cosy. I look out into this room, the cot still sits unused in the corner, it has become a dumping ground for the outgrown and unwanted clothes.
The alarm on my phone signals.