Moon

She gave us another creative writing exercise to complete: describe the night, apply images, and use detailed observation.  Then, lightly, in a voice tinged with an affable threat, the teacher added these words: ‘and, whatever you do, leave the moon alone, it has suffered enough.’  She’s right.  It’s hard to describe the moon without falling … Continue reading Moon

Absence

A late June night.  I’d picked her up from the tram, and we were driving back along York Place.  From there, we drove down Leith Walk, briefly passing through Haddington Place, before we turned onto Montgomery Street.  She lifted her hand, an involuntary action, she didn't seem to know she was doing it, and pressed … Continue reading Absence

Far Off Fields

‘At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen.  Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon.’  My book group has just finished reading Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.  Insights such as this into … Continue reading Far Off Fields

Numbers

J. was here at the weekend. He’s eight and he’s a numbers boy. He assessed my fuel gauge as we drove out towards the coast.  It’s shaped like a clock, with twelve rays fanning out in a circle, all of which light up orange when it’s full, then each ray is stubbed out as the … Continue reading Numbers

Happiness

I phoned my friend the other night.  It’s a bad time of the year for him, the marking of an anniversary that makes him sad. ‘It was a night just like this,’ he told me, ‘gorgeous, still, warm; swallows skimming the grass.  I sat out late enjoying an evening that lasted forever, and then the … Continue reading Happiness