Sunday, 30 August 2009

Past and Presents

The past is a photograph that grows faint and soft with age, held close as if kept secret in a breast pocket, to be taken out on special occasions, to be admired, and to reaquaint yourself with its miraculousness.
I will never be eighteen again.

Saturday, 29 August 2009


I ride the train home and think of him.

There is something about him
it has me stuck,
something compelling that has him running
right around the curliques of my brain.
His forearms, perhaps;
gently freckled.
They make me think of smooth wet sand,
sea-licked and solid,
clean, uninterrupted.
I want to leave footprints there
with the lightest impressions of my fingertips.

There are angles that make him almost beautiful
(like the careless abandon of a dreamer).
His eyes are blue.
He has a heavy brow, a ready smile.
I remember his face in pieces;
I cannot look at pictures of him.

My body is an anchor,
my mind a sail.
I am carried, protesting, forwards but my thoughts drift behind.

Sitting in a flowerbed,
I laid my head in his lap like a ship's cat
- an impudent four-legged sailor
who jumps up in the galley
without being asked.
I listened, eyes shut, to disembodied voices
discussing things of importance;
his fingers casually wandered my back like a map.
A silent wish for fingernails to softly drag along my scalp like a fishing net trawling through dark water.
Though they didn't,
the idea alone beat blood into my cheeks.

The delicate way we touched
it was nostalgia made mortal.
The delicious, homesick sound of a boy whistling your favourite song.

I ride the train home and think about
what it might be like to have him undress me,
what it would mean to have the rights to all of him,
to close the door and turn the key.
I puzzle about the way I felt near him,
the wild wide-eyed inexplicability
also a calm, quiet truth.
I wonder if it is
a little like love...
or simply being set adrift in the ocean
with only constellations for company.

I almost miss my stop.

Just a little something I'm working on...

Sometimes I stay awake at night and imagine what it would mean to be a seafarer, a siren, a selkie...I would talk in fathoms and sing sea shanties and forget the feeling of grass underfoot. I would dance with the mermaids, pay homage to Poseidon and stargaze underwater at the dancing lights held in the heavens above.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Birthday Boeuf

The countdown begins; I turn nineteen on Monday and the festivities have already begun. The birthday cards have started arriving through the letterbox, a lovely girl went through great pains to get my first present to me and I cooked my family a pretend-birthday dinner (seeing as I leave for Edinburgh tomorrow).

Medallions of beef in a red wine reduction with roasted vegetables and new potatoes (also known as posh food for amateurs)
This entire recipe was just played by ear as I'm anything but an expert chef - everything was estimated and the numbers aren't exact so use it as a guideline, mess around with it and see what feels best when you're cooking.

for the beef...
- Six medallions of beef
- one red onion
- two cloves of garlic
- a handful of mushrooms
- butter
- a cup or so of vegetable stock
- half a bottle of red wine
- a splash of Martini
- ditto balsamic vinegar
for the vegetables...
- six carrots
- six leeks
- a butternut squash
- two white and two red onions
- two bunches of asparagus
- a medium bag of new potatoes
- thyme
- basil
- a head of garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper

  • Turn the oven on at 180 degrees and prepare the vegetables. Peel the butternut squash CAREFULLY, cut the gourd part from the long part, cut in half and scoop out the seeds; take off the tough outer layers of the leeks, and top and tail them; bend the aspargus near the base so the woody part at the bottom snaps off; cut the carrots in half, and parboil for five minutes; peel the onions and several cloves of garlic. Don't forget to put the peelings into the compost bin if you have one.
  • Cut all the veg into similar sized pieces and put them into a roasting pan or a flat heatproof dish (you might need two). Cover with olive oil, throw in the garlic, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and thyme - shake the dish around so all the veggies get seasoned properly. Put them in the oven.
  • Look over the new potatoes, throw away any bad ones and cut in half any that are too big. Put in a pan with some salt, cover with boiling water and a pan lid, and leave on a medium heat.
  • Get your beef medallions and put them on a chopping board. Cover them with clingfilm and hit them hard with a rolling pin (note: this is not only a good stress reliever but it tenderises the meat). Beef medallions don't have much fat on them so you shouldn't have to trim them, hurray! Check on the potatoes - stab a few with a fork to see if they're soft yet. If so, drain them and put them somewhere to keep warm.
  • Make the sauce. Peel and dice the red onion and the garlic cloves and fry them in a heated pan with melted butter. Let them sweat; slice the mushrooms and add them as well. Put half the wine into another pan and heat until it reduces by half (have a glass of it too because you're cooking off the alcohol and no cook should be deprived...) - then add the stock, and the onions, garlic and mushrooms (but keep the pan they were cooked in). Let it simmer on a low heat, and gradually pour in the rest of the wine, the martini and the balsamic vinegar.
  • Have a look at the vegetables - they should be crispy around the edges but soft. If they're ready, take them out and let them keep the potatoes company. Melt some more butter in the frying pan with a little olive oil as well to keep it from burning. When your pan is sizzling hot, put the medallions in. I like mine medium rare, and cook them for three or four minutes each side. When the meat is browned and ready, take it out and put it in a dish. Then pour the sauce into the frying pan and stir until it's absorbed all the leftover beef juices. Pour over the medallions and serve.

Best eaten with garlic bread and salad, and followed by cream cakes and a big cup of tea.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Naive Melody

Photos from the past weeks at home, in Edinburgh and all over France.

I'm excited to get back to the city, to see my girls and get a job, begin second year and start making my little house a proper home.

Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place

"Never for money, always for love." - David Byrne

Saturday, 8 August 2009


by D.H. Lawrence;

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Right now, the city is alive all hours with festival insanity, and I want to look like what would happen if this look had beautiful illegitimate feral offspring with this one.
Or perhaps just this;

(found here)

My new flat is lovely, by the way.
Fireplaces, a secret room, walls the colour of lemonade and hardwood floors...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

July Lie Lie Lightness

Click for more fantastic pictures.
I'm kissing this summer goodbye slowly. I move in to my new flat tomorrow!

Daylight by Matt and Kim (via the wonderous Mary)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Breakback Beach

Photos from BeachBreakLive2009 - such a fantastic few days.

Kitty cat masquerade!

Laughing gas balloon graffiti...

that we felt obligated to add our wisdom to.

Face-painted frolics.


And bizarre tree art.

We had fun.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Keeping Track

S. and I went to a performance poetry workshop. We drank pear cider and talked about writing and had a happy time like always. It was so good to be reunited, and nice to know that somethings (and someones) will never change.

precious little leather knapsack from Barnardo's Vintage

Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo's mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools' Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.

Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.

You're by Sylvia Plath

Run Like A River

We went to a beautiful restaurant in the Lake District for my daddy's birthday.

Big Big Sis and me

Hilarious action shot of me running/"frolicking" through a field with the dog

Darcey, who has featured before almost a year ago

Happy Birthday Pa!
Photographs by my lovely cousin Hollie

Sunday, 2 August 2009


6.45 felt like quarter to nine and I missed the sight of sunrise. Breakfast was a nectarine, and porridge with brown sugar from the Welsh teabag tin on the top shelf of the cupboard, and Earl Grey with milk and honey, and orange juice. Cat communion whilst wearing my favourite old blue woollen cardigan, still pyjama'd. A hot shower and the long-lost smell of our garden on a cold, fresh English morning. My mother's ocean pie and a suprise piece of chocolate cherry cake. Old friends and liquor in my candlelit living room and the bright lights of my hometown once more.

Marcine M. brought my attention to a ukelele-playing songbird boy and to the beautiful Septembear. My heart sung with the thought of 31st August, which will bring me my last teenage year and put an end to a soaring summer, ushering in autumn and all its golden dusky glory.