Orange cardigan

Dear Caroline, I often think of the things we did and said together, remember leaping out at the traffic passing by your home and flashing at the traffic in retaliation for being flashed at ourselves by a random in the park. Snort. Remember calling Radio 10 (!) and requesting stuff using silly accents or totally mispronouncing the band names. Remember you trying to get a discount at Oktoberfest for getting a sausage without the bun. God you were embarrassing. Logical, but embarrassing. And you had that foul almost-neon-orange cardigan that washed the colour entirely from your face – did your mother buy it for you in a misguided effort to match your gorgeous orange hair?

Well, last year I saw a cardigan very similar (though not neon) in a shop and I had to walk in and grab it by the end of the arm and give it a little squeeze – and then I found myself buying the bloody thing.


And I wear it though it zaps all the colour from my face except the broken capillaries on my nose and the dark spots under my chin.

It really is very unattractive.

And yet I cling to it like
I should have clung to you.

Kerbside pickup day from the Book of Ro

1. And in the September of 2015 I sayeth to  my Dave ‘If you thinketh we are going to cart all this adjective adjective junk to the new house where it will sit for years and years you can thinketh again. 2. And Dave thinketh again and we moveth the adjective adjective junk. 3. And I said there will cometh a kerbside pickup and if you haven’t done anything with the adjective adjective junk we will put it out to the kerb. 4. Dave agreed. 5 And it cameth to pass. Indeed the adjective adjective junk has not seen the light of day since it was delivered to the new house. 6. And yea! the kerbside pickup hath been announced for Monday 10 July in the 2017th year of Our Lord.  7. And I will be delivered from rusty bikes, legs without chairs, the heads of fans and dusty boxes of cords and plugs to which we know not what they belongeth. 8. Yea! 9. You bloody ripper! 10. Amen!

misplaced objects

misplaced objects
– your clothes lying on the bathroom floor
I have not seen you in an age.
I have not felt the warmth of your hand.

your crumpled clothes on the floor
the tv on in the far room
I’m missing the warmth of you
– my foot explores your body’s imprint in our mattress

the glow and hum of the tv
your footsteps passing down the hall
and I wonder how we might reconnect
misplaced objects

My other gran

Mim was my other gran. Dad’s mum. Tiny in height but not girth, she had many names, but not Gran or Nanna or Nanny! No way. She was Mim or Mimi (pronounced ‘me-me’, something folk on my mother’s side occasionally noted). Doll to her friends, sometimes, I suspect Dolly, and christened Dorothy.

Mim was naturally fun, bubbly, a personality.

Mim took  Heidi and Robert and me fishing on the harbour and once fought off a feral goat that nearly butted me off the pier. A tangle of goat, fishing line and Mim heaving on the decrepit wooden pier, 3 foot above the shark infested waters, ‘the very spot’ she used to tell us ‘where an actress taking part in a shark documentary was snatched during filming and never seen again.’ The truth was of course slightly less interesting, but her story added a satisfying amount of terror to the scene.

It was Mim who taught me to lie on my back in the surf, feet facing the waves and watch surf and sky roll gently overhead.

Mim was married to Pop, a rather stern character. She once confessed that she married him by proxy, never thinking he would survive the war. I believe this was at least partly true.

When Mim was widowed, she kicked up her heels a bit. Driving around in Pop’s enormous mint condition gold Holden Statesman sedan was a bit much, but Pop had refused to part with it. Well, one day Mim spotted a brand new red Barina (a real cutie!) in a service station. She walked in to the station and asked who owned it. A young man nervously replied that he did. And so she offered him a swap. He accepted. That’s the type of woman she was.

Sadly, she wasn’t the type to take too much notice of silly doctors and she ended up suffered a series of debilitating strokes, being invalided for an age, before passing away.

They might say she’s resting in peace, but I don’t think she’s wasting any time lying about. That hyperactive, fun-loving extrovert, my crazy old Mim is out there somewhere telling tall tales, sharing a laugh, catching a fish, maybe even having a beer with some mates. I can even hear the clink of the glasses and her laugh right now. ❤