Showing posts from 2012

Two Cats and a Dog

Condensation trickles down the outside of my un-Muslim drink and pools where the glass meets the table.  The drink is a temperature perfect for a desert evening, even if it’s not authentically Omani.  Late to bed gulls fly in military formation across the pale horizon.  Gentle sea songs drift up from the beach as waves rush and retreat.  Fishing boats drift, black shadow puppets, beyond the wave breaks. People, possibly fishermen, standing in knee deep water tend to the ropes the hold the boats firm to the shore.  The boats are wooden and timeless. On how many evenings has such a scene played out?  A long day of lows and highs winds towards its end.  It feels a long way from home and a short way from sleep.  But as ever, the anticipation is supplanted by adrenaline of surprise. Out of the corner of my eye I notice something, a shape, flicker through the pale glow thrown from the lights that stud the grass and hedges.  I assume that it’s a bat, drawn to the ins

A dream comes true.

Coffee? CoFFee? Coffeeeeeeee? Coffeecoffeecoffee? Coffcoffcoffee? The flight attendant sounds as bored as I feel.  My legs don’t feel at all, although, bizarrely, my feet ache.  You know it’s a long flight when breaking the “four hours to go” barrier feels like an achievement.  The engines drone. The pages of a book flick over, their contents read but immediately forgotten, a process that passes time but brings no enjoyment or understanding.  It reminds me of RE at school.  For some reason I stifle a yawn.  Three hours and fifty-eight minutes to go.  Sleep. Film. Angry Birds. Read. Dubai! (Brief relief) Hurried transfer. Muscat, Oman. Ah – a shower beckons.  No Bags. A shower recedes.  Relief recedes.  Stress gives me an energy hit to counteract the lack of sleep. After twenty minutes of fruitless searching I give up and come to the fogged brain conclusion that my bag is taking an extended break in Dubai, while I, smelly from too long in the air, have

Winter Rain - A retrospective

A butterfly with a bright orange patches lands on the damp sand of a beach. Its wing is broken. The food in the cafe is good, the coffee excellent.  I’m forced to listen to the atonal snobbery of jazz. I’m on holiday.  It’s raining. I have little or no control over any of these things.  They are the way they are because of accident, design or probability; I can alter none of them.  I don’t really know where this idea came from, that things should always go to plan, that things should always be perfect, but it’s widespread and damaging.  The butterfly was beautiful, the company good, the weather passing. But each one caused an internal sigh of disappointment that the experience was less than perfect, that all the plans had come to nothing.  I also don’t know where this next idea came from – possibly my Zen karate brother – but I rather like it: Walking in the rain only becomes a problem if you believe that you are going to stay dry in the first place.  If dampne

Spring Sunshine (and a parenthesis)

New oak leaves don’t seem to be real. They possess the kind of luminescent, incandescent colour normally associated with artificial dyes, plastic toys and warning labels. The leaves are paper thin and soft, new born into a world of light and air and water.  Born for the slow accumulation of sugar. The leaves emerge from sleepy winter buds to the wakening spring.  Pressure builds within the buds one cell at a time. Division after division after division. Daughter after daughter after daughter. The old become new, the new age and bring forth more youth. Cell division is rapid, but controlled, the execution of a process whose failure we all fear.  DNA, genes, proteins, and the coming of life. Not a celebration for the tree, just a response to stimuli I cannot feel.  The leaf in the bud grows and expands until escape, until bud burst, is the only option.  And at that point spring begins. And human celebrations begin with it. Flushed with energy drawn from the returning Sun the oaks