Wednesday, 30 September 2015

When is a skirt not a skirt?

Taking the concept of "skirt" to its extremes - she walked through the commuting crowd standing guard at Liverpool street station eyes tied to the departure boards like a hypnotised audience - brown felt floppy hat (hippy variety that seems to be in vogue just now), white crochet cardigan, brown miniskirt that wasn't skimming her bottom, rather more blatantly showing her ass cheeks hanging out as they would in a pair of hot pants a la 1970 beachwear. No visible sign of any undergarments either. And certainly no tights. The voice of a thousand mothers echoed in my head, "you can't go out like that". And then she was gone. The departure board platform numbers rolled over to reveal 3 and the hypnotised moved as one towards the appropriate barriers. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Man With Two Umbrellas

The majority of people do not attempt to board the train. I have a connection to make. I squeeze in between a man lisping to his friend - reasoning as to why people wait for every third empty train - and a black woman in a blond wig playing candicrush. 

It's wet. It was wet yesterday. Not when I left home by bike but by the time I was coming home with dirty water spraying up my backside from the wheel. And it's starting out the same today. 

A man sitting. Brown beret. Long thin greying dredlocks. Reading the paper. His jacket is hanging open. He has propped his long umbrella in the crook of his knee and it leads against the glass beside his seat. Then I notice he has a folding umbrella poking out from his inside jacket pocket. The man with two umbrellas. I can't think of an explanation. With a large umbrella you can sheild a companion and yourself comfortably. Why would you need a second one? 

Friday, 4 September 2015


So I'm sitting on a northern line train from London Bridge to Euston (damn lucky to get a seat, think I) and on the right there's a man sleeping who's eyes keep rolling back in his head and an umbrella in his backpack who's handle keeps hitting me on the arm. And on the left is a woman playing candicrush with an umbrella in her bag who's handle is poking me in the other arm. Feel like I'm in the middle of a joust. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


I wrote a lot more than normal in August. Its because I was miserable. I have always written more when miserable. For a month I have been struggling with the sudden departure of the panther. Sudden and all-encompassing. I've talked a lot. Spent time considering why. Figured out how I actually felt. 

And then there was the slow return. At first difficult, unhappy, angry. The juxtaposition of the passion felt. In fact a passion still, just one from suddenly unrequited love rather than mutual love. I had a hole, and filled the void with old friends who listened (thank you all) and understood also. I felt stronger, even though abjectly lonely. Men kept insisting on speaking to me, its something to do with the damsel in distress signal that I must have been putting out accidentally. So I then started feeling attractive despite the pain. I occupied myself, however I saw fit, on my own whim. Cycled, spent all day in the pub for Leo's birthday, went to Norfolk and swam with the seals, saw a band playing in Brick Lane, bought their CD, went to the Curve Garden in Dalston, went to a gig, ate out, threw myself on the mercy of friends and family in search of entertainment and cheering up. 

I decided not to jeopardise what I really really wanted by messing about with people from whom there was no spark. 

And the panther wanted to see me, weekly at first. Despite my pain I agreed. It seemed to help me deal with the never coming back thing by seeing him in his different state. It didn't quite appear that his chosen path was making him happy but that was his choice. We started talking in more depth than we ever had. 

At the end of his visits I was having to get ready to go out. We would ride the bus to Seven Sisters together. Parting would seem like the old days with a long look back. Once there was a long kiss watched by a newspaper distributer who sighed as I went down into the tube. There was sorrow. And regret. And lots and lots of talk.

Then there was realisation. Of love potentially lost. Of a happier time. Of deeper meaning. Of great desire. From both parties. 

And today, we are on the third day of his return. New harmony, or perhaps restored harmony. With greater understanding. Deeper. More meaningful. Having remembered what it was all about in the first place. So we embark once again on a reconciled path. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


I've never seen that before, he said, tears well up like a pool in the basin of the inner eye before running over. He is smiling. It's beautiful, he said. And leaned down to kiss her. I'm sorry, she said. He stroked her hair and wiped away the trail of salty water.