Some Days

Yesterday morning in Edinburgh it didn’t let up. Gray rain. It made my legs and heart heavy. There wasn’t much wind, but plenty of cold drizzle, slippy leaves, everything wrapped in a grey blanket – making it hard for me to rise from my fleecy blanket. Somewhere outside, in the distance, a car alarm was wailing incessantly, drilling into my head. Nothing felt right. It was one of those days when I just couldn’t be bothered. Cracked and fragile, even the notion of stepping outside the door felt like too much.

I opened an email from a friend in which she cheerfully declared: It’s a pleasure just hanging out the washing when it’s like this.” Not here – I thought to myself, and I wondered at the difference a couple of hundred miles can make to the weather. A line of poetry came to mind, ‘Prayer’ by Carol Ann Duffy: ‘Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer utters itself.Some days, when I don’t mean to swear, a swear springs forth. Some days, when I think I have nothing at all to say and write about, words flow. Some days when I desperately want to pull the covers over and hunker down, I throw them back and rise nonetheless.

Getting on with it, that’s the trick. Actually, no, that’s not what it’s about. I think the trick is getting started. We tell ourselves to get on with it, but each new day is a case of starting afresh, opening the door and stepping out to see what the day has to offer – even when the grey sky hitting the pavement.

‘The Door’, Miroslav Holub

‘Go and open the door.

Maybe outside there’s

a tree, or a wood,

a garden,

or a magic city.

Go and open the door.

Maybe a dog’s rummaging.

Maybe you’ll see a face,

or an eye,

or the picture

of a picture.

Go and open the door.

If there’s a fog

it will clear.

Go and open the door.

Even if there’s only

the darkness ticking,

even if there’s only

the hollow wind,

even if


is there,

go and open the door.

At least

there’ll be

a draught.’

He had a sense of humour, that old Miroslav, because there is almost always a draught in Edinburgh, even in high summer. When I eventually got going yesterday, I decided to wear a dress – the one that the guy in Central Carpets admired a few months back – and a wee bit of make-up. I took myself to the Nordic café, where the sunny Swedish barista asked me (as she always does) how my writing is going. I told her (as I always do) that it’s going great. She checked with me if I could write to the music that was playing – it’s another thing she always does, and I always say yes. Yesterday it was Nina Simone. Maybe some day she’ll put on ‘Megadeath’ to test me. “Can I have one of those wee heart shaped shortbreads dipped in chocolate with my coffee, please?” I asked her. “Of course, they are complimentary today.” She smiled. I think she just decided it in the moment. I felt lighter. It’s the little things that make a difference. By the time I left the sounds of Nina, there was no rain, the sky had brightened and lifted, and my mind-fog had cleared.

4 thoughts on “Some Days

  1. I thought of how you are Kates daughter with your just get up and on with it while it may have been easier to get back under the duvet. Love that Swedish barista, nice to know someone looking out for you, its the small things indeed, loving your writings, sorry I haven’t said this before x


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