February 3rd, 2015


snow: the end of the mural: inhaling Burns night: a dream

Snow! I've just been out checking it's not putting any of my plants under undue stress. A gentle shake for the Passion Vine and the Rhododendron, a belated fleece for the Agapanthus. It had left little snow hats on all my dinosaurs and the seed heads I had failed to tidy up. Oh my garden. A robin was singing furiously at me all the time I was out there.

Last weekend damiancugley tweeted me a picture of the mural I painted in the bookshop, post-refurbishment. It's been painted over, but the decorators didn't prize the jewelled eyes off the owl before slapping the white emulsion over the top. The effect is weirdly comical. Poor old mural. I took some recording photos, before it went - more on the click-through.

I'm still not drinking, so my Burns night was a rather more subdued affair than usual. However another of the guests had brought along some of that ridiculously expensive Japanese whisky that is filtered through bamboo charcoal (decanted into a small Bells bottle for protective camouflage). So I poured myself a sip and mostly inhaled it; sublime.

I woke up this morning from a dream of writing a poem. In the dream I concentrated more and more on the poem, trying to read what I was writing, and as I did so, I was writing slower and slower, each pencil mark on the paper becoming harder and slower to write. The alarm went off, and the cat batted my elbow affectionately, but with a bit of claw. I awoke. The poem was:

Every year I say
This is it
From this point on
I finally stop being shit

But each when I find
(In lockstep with ability and skills)
A steady checking increase in

My understanding of what needs to be done
My judgement of how well it has been done

And I see contented competence receding
Like a mirage
As Sunday

To which I can only say: thank-you subconscious. I now feel properly judged.