Two cups of hot water, a dish of lemon slices, a hot chocolate, with cream and marshmallows, and a plate of toast and marmalade arrive at the table. Melissa waves her bony wrist at the boy, gold bangles jangling. Jennifer wiggles her fingers crammed with rings, and scoops up a marshmallow.
Green velvet smoking jacket svelte and warm and treasured since Cambridge the pool of light that quickened the grain in his oak desk was as much a portal for him into other worlds as was the oak door through which he entered his library at every opportunity
Sometimes the desk supported the console of a racing carriage and at others the cockpit of a spaceship from the pen of Leonardo da Vinci and at others still the pool of light upon the desk resembled that upon the spectacles of a tiny Rumpelstiltskin or the chestnut hair of Lydia the one and only he’d ever truly adored
And his pen added a carrot-nose to a snowman fashioned by his father and the slowing
pace of his seventy-five year old legs was rejuvenated as his pen pointed brighter than candle flame into the archives of an always fertile mind
His eyes could appear as blank black discs in a handsome patrician visage when observed at the desk from eventide street window but only because there they gazed inward, remembering, rejoicing resurrecting realities borne of fairy tales of wingéd truth
A gift of a day, unexpected, found only in the incidental way of a passing remark; a walk through almond terraces and tangled olive groves, down, over warm rocks that smelled of salt and windblown pine and rosemary. We swam and the sun threw dots to dance around us.
Joy lives in small things, sunshine colours on a water droplet or reflections from a spider web. It is in primroses, daffodils and bluebells waking after winter’s sleep. Joy is caring, sharing and little acts of kindness. It is commitment, love and belonging.
I write because I want to tell myself things, and I don’t know what it is I have to tell until I’ve written it. Sometimes I surprise and please myself. But I’m scared what comes out will reveal an uninteresting, unsophisticated or unlikeable self. So, most often, I don’t write.
In the forties Ada was the woman in the street that neighbours came to with problems. For counsel and practical issues she was there for them. A knock on the door initiated everything from tea and dispensed wisdom to a gathering of soap and towels to lay out their dead.