Archives for the month of: December, 2012

Today is Christmas Eve and it feels appropriate to note the occasion. It’s nearing five and I’m working on the festively red couch, which will be as red and festive after the seasonal mayhem has subsided. Over the last 48 hours I have oystered a socialising trail across London – Camden Town, Sloane Square, East Finchley, ending (via the Tooley St. exit at London Bridge) here in Deptford.  I’ll be spending Christmas here with four musicians – three string players and a pianist. My friend’s flat looks over Deptford High Street, which is all lit up in cheery lights. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree…” and other seasonal tunes float up from the street-stalls selling last-minute Christmas tack – polyester stockings, tinsel, flashing Santas. There’s an Iceland below us. At this moment, someone may well be buying a last box of mince pies or a forgotten packet of brussel sprouts. Our merry band hasn’t yet done any Christmas food shopping, but here are some thoughts from that strange escarpment of pre-Christmas socialising, moving, eating and waiting:

Pre-Christmas Digesting


Four mince-pies,

two glasses of wine,

a dozen cream crackers, plain


salmon blini’s, bruschetta,

two coffees, a salmon sandwich,

mussels in Szechuan black bean sauce


and prawns stir fried with bamboo shoots and Chinese mushrooms

couscous with broccoli,

green tea, a secondary  weed-smoke hangover

I did yoga, fifteen minutes of Qi Gong, tried some writing.

My friend locked his keys in the flat.


 Arrival text: Eve, 23rd Dec.


In Deptford, settling in…

T locked keys in flat,

so we got to know the



George from Iceland,

guys at the £1 store downstairs,

the waitresses at the local Chinese,

Matt with the ladder from the art studio.


Two SAffas on the loose!


THWACK! Goes Shredder.
Get him! Leonardo.
Raphael and Donatello
Bring out pepperoni.
Michaelangelo is my favourite. He wears
Kick! Punch!
Then lunch
on pizza. (A good plan.)

Now we are grownups
We have forgotten THWACK! Punch!
that pepperoni favourites
wear lunch on Shredder’s pitch.
Wear blue plan good and pizza kick.
Long gone – our ninja turtle fix.

An astute reader commented, “This is a poem about nostalgia.”

Follow me on Twitter (@BeadedQuill) where I grapple with sword drills, my girly voice and being true to the writing life.

Over here on the hill

Jack, can you hear me?

I’m trying to drop the pail

But I can’t keep my mind

on lowering the rope.

I think, instead, of you

in the valley

where you scythe the bending wheat.

I draw up the pail

careful not to slosh the water

(for then I shall have to refill it).

When you sit in the shade,

Do you wonder about the shade I sit in?

Where do you bundle the hay?

Do you toss it in piles by breaking it?

When the grain is gold and ripe, we’ll crush it

between grindstones to flour.

Carry it then in a sack

to my kitchen.

There on the table

flour and water will be scooped to dough

kneaded under the heel of my hand

left to rise.

I’ll remember the autumn, Jack

when you brought in the hay.

Now, come and eat of the loaf while it’s warm.

The problem with being a girl is that one does seem to write a great many ‘girly’ poems. Remind me to post one I wrote about Ninja Turtles. In fact, I’ll do it now.

For 9 days we had no WiFi.

I welcomed the chance

to unplug and

watch my life boom into productivity.


I polished wooden furniture

in my rented room; hoovered

the carpet; read and slept fitfully on a bruised rib.

I wrote lists of to do’s and didn’t write.

For just over a week, from the end of November through to early December, builders came to reset some tiles on the roof. They had to unplug “all the computer wires,” as my landlady put it. I was WiFi-less at home. Glorious! I would do real things and write, lots.

Facebook, Twitter and blog activity dulled while I ticked off domestic chores and baked test rounds of chocolate cake. I read more than my weekly quota of chapters from Pamuk’s “My Name is Red.” (I’m about four chapters from the end, now.) Instead of being online, I was amongst the miniaturist painters of long ago Istanbul. I also went to the GP for a flu jab.

“If you don’t post consistently and regularly on your blog, it will ruin your reputation,“ I’ve read on optimal, pro-blogger advice websites.

You’re not meant to write about life’s banalities either.

Still, I hope you’ll be back sometime. Unless you, too, have unplugged for a bit.

(Follow my more regular comments on writing, culture and life’s banalities on Twitter – @BeadedQuill)