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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

Looking out of our second bedroom window - that's the window in the second bedroom ; not the second window in the bedroom - I am greeted by a scene of early evening summer tranquility. The new verandah is in place giving our patio the look of a rural railway station in Somerset or Dorset. Even the usual smell of exotic spices and herbs is absent as the evening is given over to a quintessential English idyll.

Normally at this time 8:00 pm, the local, and extremely good and fairly priced, Indian restaurant would be advertising its presence olfactorially. The hypnotic smells of  curry, garlic and fried onions would insinuate their way up the street and enter every house, hardly pausing to ask for entry.

At the same time the turbo grill at the Istanbul  kebab restaurant would be firing up, ready to flame grill anything in sight, served up with a side portion of salad and chillies. The Algerian coffee bar would at this point chime in with a base note of roasted coffee beans and a hint of honey dripped confectioneries. All of these nosey delights would sway to the beat of the Caribbean as the local Reggae record shop turned up the volume.

But not tonight. Tonight the 8:20 to Pontypridd, the last train from Milton Road Halt, is taking on water and the only passengers, three urban cats, Tom, Sherry and Ginja, stow their overnight bags in the mesh netting above their seats. A fading picture of an English seaside scene welcomes them in.

In our garden the griffin stirs. For years uncountable he has curled himself around the  granite ball, asleep dreaming of distant lands when he and his clan ruled the skies and terrorised the local notables and dainty ladies. Now, after a chasm of ages he awakes; stretches his wings and soars above an alien cityscape.

The reddish fox looks up from her lair as the griffin ascends. She sniffs the air and nuzzles her two remaining cubs. Tonight is special she recalls.

As the 8:20 pulls out of our verandah; the station master folds his red flag and sitting down takes out his tobacco pouch and  fills his brier, gently tapping down the aromatic weed. A sudden flare of a Swan Vesta, cupped hand and in an instant fumes of contentment ascend. As he leans back he thinks " That went well, as it should have done on this special day."

Tonight I'm imagining and remembering all my special days, and the landscapes that have populated my waking dreams.


The Sagittarian said...

Very poetic post! (What WAS that in your pipe then?)

Barry Coidan said...

I don't smoke!

Old Cheeser said...

Your picture reminds me of a certain recent Dr Who episode...

Barry Coidan said...

It was one I knocked up while waiting for the 9:40 to the Heaviside Layer.