The dead lamb


Syd at cricket practice. Naoise fast asleep in bed. Patrick out. Home nice and quiet.

When the mist rose the day turned bright and clear. Not a cloud in the sky.

The train passes at the back of the house.

A lot can happen in one day. I decide to pour a small glass of red. Haven’t eaten my dinner yet, and cannot be bothered to cook. Cooking for one seems pointless. I find a plate and fill it with breadsticks and homemade humous and tomatoes. Tapas will do.

Syd rings requesting a lift home. He is only ten minutes from the house. I tell him that he needs to walk, that Naoise is asleep in bed. He sounds fed up. He says he is thirsty, I suggest that he finds some tap water to drink.

I have been walking and driving around in circles all day. I feel like a dervish.

This morning Naoise looked out onto the ridge of the mill building opposite the house and said look mummy bluetits. We laughed together when I explained that they were pigeons and that blue tits are tiny in comparison.

sheepandlambsinthewoodsWent for a walk up on the hills with my friend. I showed her my circular route past all the fields with lambs and the bridle ways and farms. To our horror we saw a decapitated lamb. It looked as if it had been killed in the field. Its body was tiny. Later as we walked further forward we passed a gnawed leg. I felt sick thinking about the poor little lamb. We wondered what could have killed it, dog, fox, badger, hawk. I thought that we should be telling the farmer, but the house looked empty.

Walking back along the road, a post van passed us, then stopped and reversed. I thought that the driver was going to ask where an address was, instead he called out the name of my friend and said he had a package for her. We were both surprised and delighted by this encounter. She walked home with brown box in hand.

The sound of the curlew lifts up through the valley.

We talked and walked and walked and talked. She is a delightful friend. I am so very lucky. We oohed and ahhhed at the light on the hills, beautiful, shifting, tonal shadow moving light, painterly, atmospheric and romantic.

The image of the dead lamb has stayed with me all day.

I go to the studio. Tidy, sort, put away, prepare the space for messy making. Too long its looked like a gallery, or an office space. Back home via the shops I make Syds dinner. I sit with him and eat my salad and  apple whilst he tucks in to a teenagers dream of a cheesy carbohydrate pizza.

We talk. He seems better, so I just give him one pain killer. I hang a second load of washing out to dry, load the tumble dryer with sheets. I run Syd a bath filled with lavender. I tell him to soak and to rest and to dream and get better.

I write some notes and go to the library to print out. I am cutting it fine with the time. Only two minutes to drive back up the road to collect Naoise. I pick up a friend on the way. She  is pleased for the lift. I am glad not to be the only one who is late. We arrive in perfect time as the children are just coming out of the door. Naoise runs to me and smiles. I love to see his face light up with joy at the end of school, and I feel so grateful that I am able to collect him. We hang out for a while in the willow sub. I am gladdened when he is good and comes home when he is asked.


We make a quick trip to Burnley to replace Naoise school shoes that don’t fit him properly and to pick up a cricket bat for Syd. I drop Syd back at the cricket field. He is happy to be playing again. Last year he couldn’t play because a car ran over his foot, breaking foot and ankle in muliple places. He spent three months on crutches and six months recovering. This year he will be able to enjoy the summer. Play out with his friends. Enjoy sports and socialising.

He is back home now, upstairs with his friend. I should stop writing. I have nothing of any significance to say. This writing is clunky, ugly, immature; I did this, then I did that. There is a need to record and document, I am not sure why, or what the purpose is, perhaps to hold time, less it falls away too quickly.

The light is fading, I have naughtily poured another small glass of red and I am making my way through the bread sticks and humous. Tomorrow I will need to run off this bad.




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