Rollmöpse, things past, wish I could Ctrl+F books to find it again

1. The rollmops – pickled herring – are perfect: neither too fishy or too vinegary, just sweet and tangy.

2. I sit on the steps up to the door of our old house and pull grass seeds and sticky buds from the dog’s ears, tail and feathering. I feel nostalgic for all the time I spent on the steps with the cats – a favoured grooming spot but also just a favoured sitting spot in fair weather. As much as I can’t wait to be rid of it, to not have to think about it any more, I’ll be sad when we have to say goodbye to the house – my home for a decade – for the last time. One day, I’m going to make a scale model/dolls’ house of it so I don’t forget the good times there.

3. Re-reading ‘Drop City’ by TC Boyle yet again. I find new things to cherish each time through. “…stone light of dawn” is a phrase that sticks with me this time.

3BT – once our own, the afternoon’s colours, nightmare-inducing

1. It’s still early for Armley and the woods are our own again. I tell Lily about the adventures the cats got up to when they lived here. It feels like a million years ago now. I thought I’d never been able to let it go but it’s been surprisingly easy.

2. The dusky pink blanket on the rich blue sofa. The stove’s orange window. The lilac flowers on her shoe.

3. After a week of fighting it, I eventually give into my growing exhaustion and all over aches. I spend the whole late afternoon/evening reading. Amongst other things, I read John Christopher’s ‘The Death of Grass’ from cover to cover. Like John Wyndham, the UK location makes it feel startlingly real and at one point, I turn to John to report that Leeds has been destroyed by an atomic bomb. “Well then,” he says, “I guess we should stay away from the bottom of the garden.”

3BT – white world, worry, tell-tale signs

1. We wake up to a world even whiter than before. Even the tiniest branches are covered with inches of snow. It looks so cold but under our giant duvet together, we’re blissfully warm.

2. I’ve been worrying about the old house for a couple of days – we hadn’t been back to check on it since the cold spell really got going and I’ve been troubled by images of burst pipes, flooded rooms and arguments with insurance companies. We take a break from work to drive over mid-afternoon and everything is fine – in fact, it actually feels warm in the house even though there has been no heating for weeks. I become giddy as my anxiety floats away.

3. I return from neighbourhood cat feeding duties covered in white fur from furtive hugs – the feline equivalent of lipstick on my collar.

The doorstep, she is popular today

They will get confused when there is more than one way in and out of the house. We will trip over them less.

Summer in Armley, part two

(As originally posted on my Twitter thingy.)

louisa_ “enjoyed” a modern day re-enactment of Romeo & Juliet last night between two drunk, repugnant neighbours.

ROMEO: That rock through yonder window breaks.
It is my house and Juliet has locked the door.
Arise, fair Armley, and kill the ugly bitch.
Who is already sick and pale with hangover.

[POLICE enter. ROMEO is manhandled into a police car. Exit]

(This follows on from last year’s “Summer in Armley” post.)

Carbon’s Street

carbon on rombalds street

(It really is his street, check out the reverse view of this picture on Google Maps – he’s sat in front of the car.)