Thursday, 23 October 2014

Society, Part I

I am absolutely terrible at getting any work done at home. So I leave.

I stop at the Cafe, order a pot of tea and cake and sit down by the window. A little boy in wellies and a raincoat lingers on the other side of the glass, smiling at me. I wave.

The cafe is across from a sporting goods store, separated by The Corridor. An attendant comes out, followed by a customer, a middle-aged gentleman with thinning gray hair. The man is wearing new trainers and jogs up and down the length of the corridor to try them out. Now that's good service.

There is a guy sitting next to me reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. What a coincidence. I'm reading a book. Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide.

I turn away to press a tissue to my nose, ladylike, and the guy sniffles and does the same. More coincidence. He orders a cup of coffee and a tart, slowly extracts his phone to take a picture. Adds a filter. Instagram. I think we're meant to be.

Some Italians arrive with their lilting accents, obvious regulars who order espresso.
The baristas, in the quiet hours, build a tower out of cardboard cups.
At one point in time, I glance up--through the window I see a beanie, a pair of skinny jeans, face obscured behind a camera. He's taken my picture. Pretty sure I'm famous now.

I read. Haruki Murakami guy next to me reads. He feels our connection.
He closes his book, love's blossom breaking in his heart.
He packs up, leaves.

Our bond was too deep for words. 

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Bah, Humbugs

When I came home from Dorset, I found this on my desk, which was wonderful because I was completely knackered from my travails. Rachel had bought me a stash of British candies, following our conversation on humbugs and other delectables described in any of Enid Blyton's books. I still want to eat the pop biscuits from The Faraway Tree.


Two weekends ago I took the train to Dorset, or "encountered the delights of the British railroad," as my housemate Rachel puts it. I was to stay the weekend at a lodge, a haven for fugitives such as myself. I was joined by others in my Master's degree and it was wonderful and terrible at the same time. It was exhausting. I am not nearly as social as I pretend to be. I don't think the others were either.

The bed-and-breakfast Sunnyside Farm, where some of the students stayed for the weekend.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust provided boots for anyone wishing to take a stroll through the untouched countryside. I borrowed a pair and went wading through the River Hook with a net and an innate sense of curiosity. 

The blackberries were in season. 

I took this out a car window on our way to the beach.  

On the last day of the writers' retreat, I stopped by Sunnyside Farm and had tea with Mandy, the owner and hostess. Her two dogs were about and with her permission, I took this picture of one of them in her living room.