Wild Wind


Days begin with strange questions; “what is this severed head “, its artwork, my friends artwork. Sydney holds the head of the puppet child with contempt. Its sculpture Syd I reiterate. Syd then says “so she chops off babies heads and its on our stairs ?” How Syd loves a bit of drama. Thirteen its a strange age. The head has been on our stairs for about two years now, this is the first time he has noticed it, my cleaning must have made a difference.

Its a brighter day, but the wind on the tops is wild. Its whooshing and wailing through the trees. My cheeks are red after the walk.

Naoise did not want to go to school today. He is tired and he has been complaining that his legs feel wobbly. Poor little sweet thing. He does look tired and pale. I carry him to school and he nestles down close to my body.


I am glad that it is Friday. First week back of the new term is always a shock to the system. I am liking the quiet though, I am liking having the house back for me.

The wind is whistling, the wind is whistling. The wind is raging. The wind is raging.

I make two films, I just stare into the camera. Camera as a mirror. I stare hard at the image of my face. I have a good look. I capture the affects of the wind on me and the landscape around. It is simple, just a record of me standing here at this moment in time. I begin to enjoy the looking, the inward looking at my own face, and the wind.

I worry about my mum. The radio reports news of over 100mph winds in Scotland and of power cuts to thousands of homes. I try to ring her, I leave a message. I get one back. “We o.k. no power warm in bed. Saving mobile phone power. I will call you later. Hope you ok. x”

She has a very basic house on the north coast, no gas, no central heating, just electricity and wood burners. Sometimes I worry. She is so far away. Two days drive. What an adventure she is having though. I remember the power cuts in the 1970’s, then I welcomed the magic of the dark.

When I was walking I thought that I had so much to say. I was thinking about walking away from Naoise school, the distance between him and me, how the distance becomes more measured the older the child becomes. Distance and aloneness.


Whilst walking I began to look at the land and how it was cut and sliced up and ordered by the walls. Walking in the fields each day is making me love it more, however bleak, however grey, my feet walk on the earth of home, of near, of familiarity.


I puff and pant up the Pexwood road. It is steep. I realise how unfit I am. I puff and pant. I feel the red in my cheeks.

Some nice complements by some mum’s on my way out of the school, “you look nice today”. It must be the lipstick (the lipstick that Lena gave me) that I wiped across my lips, perhaps this is the difference they notice. I enjoy the compliments. Cross the road with the lolly pop man, think of the hill. I am so glad that it is the weeks end.

I had a look in Sylvia’s journals and read her words for January 9th 1959, I found nothing that jumped back at me. I am also reading the illustrator Tomi Ungerer’s book Far out isn’t far enough, a graphic memoir of his time spent living in Nova Scotia, Canada. Its a fun read, full of descriptions about learning to farm, butchering, living with and holding up against the elements, stories of drunken locals with guns on hunting trips.

There is not much time this morning, I have to go into the studio and find out about the plans for the new radiators that they are planning to fit. Its a pain in the arse as I had wanted to complete the tax return that I started yesterday so that I would be free to read and write next week. Life’s plans don’t always work out how you want them to.

The bin men are outside, collecting the recycling, the truck is reversing up our tiny road with a beep beep beep to warn of its backwards movement.


1 comment

  • Tracey

    Helen, I’m enjoying reading your Mother stories….
    I love these two ‘wind’ films – I can feel it on my face as I watch… x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *