Tuesday, 28 September 2010


He wants her to be a butterfly, look pretty, land on his leaf when he wants butterfly. He wants short-lived, colourful, flighty, a transformation into the beautiful for a moment, and then gone.

Of course, he doesn't know she's already been cabbage white, common blue, speckled wood, been wanted before in all those grass verges waste ground woodland clearings, been captured and released, suffered a hundred tiny deaths in killing jars.

He doesn't know that being a butterfly can be painful, wants only what he wants, can't see that waiting to see what she wants might be a beautiful transformation for the both of them, only sees brevity, the flicker of wings when he wants wings, and not the woman she could be.

Of course, she could never tell him this, feels delicate because this is what butterflies feel.

Monday, 27 September 2010

So, me and V were Andalucian girls for a week

I love holidays. It's official. I love the way I can go to another country for a week and forget (almost) everything back home, transport myself physically and emotionally into another place entirely, and experience everything differently. Sigh.

This is where we stayed.

One of three idyllic apartments hidden away in the Arab quarter of Alhama de Granada. We had a gorgeous garden, a library in the living room, a lovely cluttered Spanish kitchen, and a comfy double bed each. Perfect for friends, couples, a little family, a writers or artists retreat....

And we loved the town. White-washed houses, cobbled narrow streets, old churches, beautiful little square with a few bars and (my favourite) Cafe La Creme that sold the most gorgeous cakes imaginable, and of course, the gorge with its old ruined flour mills, jade river and jagged orange cliffs.

Oh, I swear to god, I did not want to come home. It was amazing. We ate tons of gorgeous food, read, basked in the sun, watched films, chatted, laughed, walked, swam, wandered around palaces and gardens, had picnics, skinny-dipped in the lake, danced, entertained, soaked in the Arabic spa...

My favourite moments were probably...

lying under a tree on a very quiet beach called Punta de la Mona, with a lovely gentle breeze and an undisturbed view of the beach and sea, and then the most gorgeous swim in lovely deep seawater with the waves lifting me as I swam

eating the most delicious goat with garlic on our first afternoon in Alhama in the square

meeting Paco, a local restauranteur and Flamenco singer who was a little bit drunk when he came over to our table at Meson Diego, and then near the end of our holiday eating at his restaurant La Seguiriya, beautiful food and a most excellent host, and ever patient with my terrible Spanish.

skinny dipping and dancing like a wild thing at the edge of Lake Bermajales, where we had the whole lake to ourselves for an afternoon

getting lost wandering through the Albaicin in Granada and the gorgeous gardens at the Alhambra

and lots of little moments, funny things we did and said, little Scampos the dog who we kept meeting around town, lunches in the garden, reading, asking lovely old spanish ladies for directions, the views which were stunning, feeling so so so relaxed and not worrying about anything...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

That Little See-Saw of Life: Part 2

Current Ups
Meditation and chanting with Eric at the allotment. My free meal at Nando's. A Sunday evening play on the park. Especially the slide. One or two kisses, yes yes. Singing along with MUSE at LCCC. Making plans with lovely V. Sharing a dish of Jamaican Lamb Chops. Digging. My sister coming home from NYC tomorrow.

Current Downs:
There are a few. Worries. Etc. Thinking too much. Waiting for things I don't want to wait for. Health niggles.

Monday, 6 September 2010

bits and pieces...

You might notice in my sidebar that I have two readings coming up. One at Didsbury Arts Festival on 28th September and the other at Blackpool Wordpool on October 7th. I'll be dragging out my best frock and poems for both occasions so have a little clickety click on the right hand side of my blog to see what and where and who else is going to be there.

What else?

I worked on my novel a bit over the past two weeks. Hurray. I found a new narrator. She was already in there, but I realised that it might free up the story a bit if she became the main narrator. I've written a couple of chapters. It's all very messy first draft see-what-happens writing. But for the first time in over a year, I had one of those moments where I reach a certain place where my pen seems to move by itself and I'm surprised by what I write and it feels like discovery/ energy/ breakthrough all mixed up into something I feel pleased with. Ha. What are the chances of that. This novel feels like it might take me another ten years, but I don't care, because at last it clicked into place for me for a short time, and I felt like a 'proper writer' again.

And I've had another review published... The Bigness of the World by Lori Ostlund- a very wonderful collection of short stories that I very much recommend...

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Horse, Flower, Bird

My latest review. Kate Bernheimer's collection of adult fairy tales Horse, Flower, Bird.