Two brothers wrapped up facing each other. A howling wind rattling the roof wakes words. A patchwork quilt of snow stitched by stone walls. Two brothers snoring.
A woman and a man sleeping next too each other in a bed. She hears the traffic on the road, time to awake, he wraps his arm around her body, she checks the time on her phone and rises.
The cars on the road are fast. The radiator fizzes with hot water.
I eat porridge with cinnamon and raisins and a tiny weeny spoon of honey, it is the most delicious bowl of food. I make enough porridge for baby bear and daddy bear too, Syd hates porridge. Naoise refuses it. Lots of glutenous stodge is left sticking to the pan, Abney and Teal would have made bricks with it to construct a house.
Naoise is asleep at the breakfast table once again. He covers his head and body with the double duvet that is his comfort blanket which he calls his “snuffly”. Under his snuffly he looks like a diminutive madonna, or the bundle of children depicted by Tomi Ungerer in The Beast of Monsieur Racine, he looks very funny.
The snow fall on the school run was brilliantly timed. Small little balls of white like polystyrene. Perfect. Naoise decides today is the day to take his scooter, he rides it about 20 yards and then we carry scooter and Naoise the rest of the way. His legs don’t seem to work in the morning.
I save a walk to the tops till the late morning, as J is visiting. She brings me a running magazine and says “there you go subtle hint hey”. I appreciate her directness. This loosing isn’t rocket science. She has fabulous advice about milk thistle and cutting out carbohydrates from one meal a day, what fruit is best to eat, definitely avoiding dates and dried fruit. I write notes, she is slim, beautiful, a fell runner, and one of the wisest and kindest friends I have who live near.
Syd who is still ill and yellow and wheezy, enjoys her visit. She admires his growth and height, Syd asks her how he can get another set of “peck muscles”. I love how he loves his body, this is good. he relishes each change and growth. All to be celebrated.
After ginger and apple and carrot juice we set out up the Pexwood Road together, J lives on the tops. She is fast to walk, we stop at the black pegs and the cat greets us with its leg rub hello’s. It is so beautiful and bright and clear and magic with a dusting of white. At the fork we bid our farewells, I watch her fall into the perspective of the path.
I find two swings and film them in the crisp light and gentle swaying wind. Swings, pendulums, heart beats, lungs, two brothers. I imagine the boys playing on these and getting all giddy and smiling back at me. A swing so simple, a stick and a rope in a tree.
I am fast to return home, I leave Syd for no longer than an hour at a time, it is not good to be alone when you are unwell. The walk is a necessity.
The light of the snow fills the valley. The sun reflects its virginity. There are few prints of feet that I pass. I play with my shadow. I look at the tiny balls of snow fallen within the tuffs of grass.
The heron lifts in front of me from the pond, it is majestic. I pass the mill, admire its triangle of stone and how the snow has settled upon it.
I make a film of the river that rounds the corner close to the concrete track. I think of Anne Festlers film that I saw at the Foundling Museum, I imagine a film with my voice as a narrative pieced together from all these one minute durations.
The oven buzzer sounds.