A bookshelf should be an ordered thing, full of books which might be jumbled but all with their spines facing outwards, and on a shelf that you can reach.

An assortment; this one speaks of that member of the family, that one of another. I have read the books on the bottom shelf to each in turn, the pages retaining the faintest reminder of a sticky finger, tiny hands. On the bottom shelf anyone can reach them, take them, spend a while sitting on the floor. Did it drag you in so rapidly that there was no time to find a comfy chair? This piece of floor will do just fine, a shaft of sunlight, the rose tapping its stems against the window, trying to join you in that other world.

Each of us works our way up the bookshelf, one rung at a time. But don’t worry, the book shelf has no ceiling. You can go on forever.

11th February 2022

You got so fed up today. I’m really good at empathy and not so good at stepping outside of our homely bubble and not feeding and feeding off your feelings. Today I am noticing my own tendencies and attempting to be otherwise, seeing that your frustration is enough for us both. You may need to throw an axe but I need not send forth a javelin.

It is easier to join you, but better not to. For all of us. I can see why you feel as you do. I would feel the same if it were me. But it’s not, it’s you and if I recognise that, maybe I can be here to help you rather than join you.

10th February 2022

The ducks are pairing up on the pond. Maybe they stay in pairs, but now they are paired with intent. The wind is cold but the sun has warmth, the light reflecting for a little longer than last week.

The moorhen stepped carefully, between worms and grains of soil, wanting nothing to lodge between her toes, wanting no chance or unexpected incident to disturb her precarious balance.

She paused, stepped down, stepped again, then vanished. Birch concluded that she had sanked. Myrtle thought she may have taken a stomach-full of stones to the bottom of the pool with her.

I think moorhens do not mate for life.

9th February 2022

It’s funny. Walking in one direction I admired the snow drops. In the other it was the crocuses that drew my praise. But only in my own garden do I admire the dwarf irises, out before any of you and still smiling.

It’s a good job I came and went back the same way, otherwise I would not have noticed the crocuses. I wonder what I else I missed.

Maybe I’ll go that way again tomorrow.

7th February 2022

I saw the neighbour today. She was standing in her drive opposite ours, talking to her gardener. I just wanted to nip out to post a letter while the fire in the wood burner got going, back in time to build it up, nice and cosy for when the children got home from school.

Once she starts talking she keeps gong The fire would have gone out. I hadn’t got my coat on, so I scooted round and then dashed back in.

I hope she wasn’t feeling lonely and sad. She had the gardener to talk to after all. And her husband. She doesn’t pay him.

3rd February 2022

We knew before the pudding was served that I was going to be late to pick up Myrtle from school. I should have asked Ben to collect her then when for him there was still plenty of time.

Instead of from a lay-by with the car over-heating, having been stuck in traffic full of nerves. Then I would have known he was going because there would have been time for him not to have seen my message at once. As it was, I felt compelled to continue, and so I got there only a bit late and didn’t even have to pull over because she could run out and hop in. And then he set off and we passed one another on the road but he saw me and came back and it was fine.

Even so, next time, I’ll still worry about what will happen when I’m olate, even thugh nothing will happen and it will all be fine.


The day you finish a book is a strange one. A sudden lack but sill some loyalty. You enjoyed the book, became engrossed by it, it possessed you for a time and you looked forward to the hours you would spend together.

The back cover closes.

You look again at the front, now so familiar it felt like kinship. You flick through the first few pages but the characters have journeyed on wards and are not waiting for you there. Re-reading the final chapter would not rekindle anything either, you’ve tried that before.

For now, for today, you are lost between worlds.

31st January 2022

Our Tesco order was delivered by Father Christmas today. I know it was him because he was very cheery, and he had exactly the right white hair and beard and red cheeks. He would like o have a log burner but Mrs Claus doesn’t want the mess. I would have thought he could get the elves to do that. He forgot the frozen stuff though. I guess he’s not used to using a freezer given the now up in the north to keep things cold.

It’ll be nice to have a new month tomorrow.

28th January 2022

The descent into the bath foreshadows that moment of surrender when the light goes out, the day is done and I sink beneath the covers. It is the thing I crave.

Submerging myself in a book is like tumbling into a dream. Don’t let the reality tremble back into being. It is so cosy here.