Tuesday 27 August 2002

A weather ear

Clouds are too big not to make some sort of noise. There's something wrong about watching enormous meteorological forces at work without a soundtrack to underline their actions.

As the huge cumulonimbuses cruise like tall ships overhead they should emit a low, ominous hum. The little scudding cumuluses should pip-pip-pip their way from horizon to horizon. Lazily slow and high cirruses should tinkle like glass beads falling down a staircase, only just audible above the breath of the wind. Boiling, swirling storm clouds should fizz, slowly impinging on the consciousness. Fog's just white noise.

The novel peace and quiet would be just one more reason to like clear, blue, sunny days.

Tuesday 20 August 2002

Fearing the weather

When I was younger I hated the nights when the winds came. The autumn gales or spring blows, laden with rain and sound, left me lying in bed full of fear that the house would be tipped over by the prancing fingers of wind. Underneath the duvet, submerged so that my head was warmed by my own breath I listened as the air rushed and pushed through the trees outside, waiting for the smash as the windows burst, the rapid zip of tiles peeling from the roof, the crack and tear of falling tree. It seemed impossible to last the night when there was so much anger and fury directed at the house and the trees that danced outside.

When the Great Storm of '87 ripped through the night (how satisfying to have survived a capitalised Event), axing beeches and transforming my woodland play areas, the next morning felt like the first day of a post apocalyptic world. The power flickered on and off, the TV news bulletins came from a makeshift studio in London and were rendered in humble tones appropriately reverent to the meterological power the nation had seen. It all proved that my fears were founded, the wind was a malevolent entity to respect.

I've shrugged many of my childish fears now, but this is harder to shift. By day I can master the wind, I can stride mountain ridges with my body lent into the air's lifting power and be filled with a urge to shout it down, to joyfully sing as the words are torn from my mouth, my body energised. But at night it comes back for me, searching for my sleep-enhanced imagination and sending me back down to meet the younger cowering self that lives within, abraiding and eroding my self confidence.

During a stormy January night in Snowdonia this year my febrile, night-gripped fear had to be soothed by hugs and soft words as the walls of the tent bowed to the floor in deference to the ferocious waves of air that crashed over the campsite. By the time daylight eventually rolled round again the campsite had become just another windy Welsh field and I felt foolish and ashamed.

(Small aside, until you've been in one in these conditions you cannot appreciate just how damned good Terra Nova tents are at putting up with this sort of abuse. Worth every penny).

Monday 12 August 2002

A summer drive

At the leading edge of the short sloping bonnet, just inches from where my feet flick from pedal to pedal, the road is being consumed. The tarmac is funnelled between the rounded shoulderblades of the wheelarches, each dip and bump digested by the engine that sparks and revs behind my head, before being smoothly discarded into the rear view mirror.

Built up with layer upon layer of paint-daub clouds on pale-blue, sun-smeared canvas, the yawning sky above revolves, skips and leaps in time with the dimples of the road and the smooth turns of the steering wheel.

The speakers behind my ears have built a cocoon of music to soundtrack the movement, but I can only hear it when the need for concentration eases and I have the spare mental cycles to listen. Behind the music, the engine pitch changes in precise and exact concert with the pressure of my right foot and the movements of my left hand.

At a bend, I perform a smooth body dance, pitching forward into the strong arm of the seat belt, sliding lazily sideways in opposition to the small turn of the steering wheel, before my right foot again sends me pressing comfortingly into the gentle contours of the seat.

My subsconcious is driving, I'm not aware of steering, the car is making its own flowing course through the piled green summer banks of the hedgerows and the shimmering straw yellow of harvest ready fields.

Even at slow speeds on dank, dark days, with the roof on, driving my car always feels this way.

Friday 9 August 2002

We spoke

My phone rang with her name flashing on the LCD panel. My brain moved rapidly up through the gears as I tried to work out why she would be calling me - some terrible family accident, an overwhelming happiness, his appalling behaviour. Instead no external melodrama had made my phone light up, just the unpredictable actions of her pocket.

Two errant presses on her phone keypad were all it took to close the mental distance I thought I'd placed between us over the last two months. Our short, slow conversation recapitulated in the first person what I already knew in the third and was notable more for what could not be said than what was forced out through emotionally muzzled mouths.

She's fine apparently.

Sunday 4 August 2002

She's fine

"Have you seen her recently?" I ask him. I pose the question lightly, but as soon as the words are spilled I know the answer is heavy and important.

"Yep, I had lunch with her on Thursday"

Inside a voice is starting to rant and rave - it should be me having lunch with her, not him, me, it's what I deserve, what's right, I'm best, I should win - but I stay calm and try to keep an even tone.

"How is she?"

I've no idea how I want him to answer, I think there's no answer that'll satisfy me. I shouldn't have asked, far better for her to stay in limbo in my head, better for her to have moved to another country, to have entered a state of cryogenic suspension, simply been wiped off the face of the planet by an auditing error than for me to have to go through knowing that she still thinks and breathes and lives a normal, pedestrian life like mine somewhere in the same city.

I don't want him to know how important the answer is to me, but I've forgotten where to look and how to hold myself so that the question is delivered in a casual fashion, my conscious mind is having to cope with leafing through the possible answers, looking for the one I want and it's too busy to help me stand naturally.

"She's weeping in remorse, a broken woman.."

My heart leaps, this is what I want to hear, I need to know she suffers and cries and spends every day regretting her deeds and words. Underneath that, there's hope, she's making a big mistake, she'll come back again.

No, wait, I'm not like that, my mental self-image won't let my personality hold a bitter side, I'm someone full of joy and love, I'm too nice, I don't have room for viperish passion. I need to want her to be happy. And the new me wouldn't have her back, my self view tells me that I can't be that emotionally stupid anymore.

He's grinning, winding me up. He answers again.

"She's fine"

And that's it? It's not the right answer either. Fine? The smooth, dull blandness of the word has no holds for my leaping, grabbing, clawing mind to take, no cracks to be pulled open and peered into. Nothing. She's fine.

Thursday 1 August 2002

A new home


just look at all this space


It's like stepping into your favourite comfortable trainers after a long day in slightly too tight work shoes.

For no other reason than because I could (and maybe because I was very bored at work) I bought a domain name, signed up with a new ISP and now here I am - worldofmore.com. It was spectacularly easy, and spectacularly cheap - 0 for the domain name (with worldofmore.info thrown in for free), per month for the hosting, with lots more features than Demon used to give me.

So change your bookmarks/favourites, because this is the new permanent home of more. All I need to do now is think of some content...