Protect my Bubble

 

2017-05-01 10.29.01

England is warm so that cherry blossom rains down in sunshine and breathy gusts, and tulips nod huge heads sleepily and blue skies are laced with white ribbons of jet stream. I shop with Hat. We buy her a new laptop. I know about youthful haste and cracked screens, ‘insure it’, I urge. She purchases the plan recommended by the instore team: Protect my bubble.

And then England is cold and I train it down to London and from my window watch rape seedoil fields of yellow so brilliant they throw their light to a low slung, grey bellied sky so that it is reflected back a neon glow. I wrap tight in a city I have loved for as long as I have known it, for its colour and pace and heady human soup, a mix of glorious international flavour and I steal a day with my oldest friend in the world. We drink wine in the pub and as she leaves she reminds me to pick up my glasses and I giggle at the gathering years and wonder at the glorious ballast that come with knowing a person for so long that each time you see them you pick up the thread of the conversation you last left.

And then it is the weekend and Ant is here and we gather our children to us – I as a hen, clucking and pulling her chicks in beneath outspread wings –  in a cottage that we make our own for a brief, rare, special few days and we walk and we talk and we laugh – god we laugh. We prepare dinners together, too many of us squeezed into a kitchen too small and not once do I worry that too many chefs will spoil the broth.  We curl close on a sofa and watch a movie. We walk in a wood that a kind neighbour in the village recommends as I buy armfuls of Sunday papers – ‘we live in the house opposite’, he says, ‘oh lord’, I gasp, ‘I hope we haven’t been too loud?’. Not at all he laughs and he tells me about the bluebells in a forest, ‘there’s a sign on the gate, NO ACCESS, just ignore it and bore on through’. I laugh and we do and the lilacblue of the flowers is insanely lovely. We order pints in a pub warm with a fire and laugh some more.  Loud. Long.

And I think, protect this bubble, protect my bubble, so that I might hold it to my fingertips and admire the light and the colour and the delicate preciousness that must always pop with the nudge of time.

2017-05-01 10.30.43 (2)

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2 Responses to “Protect my Bubble”

  1. Ad dy Says:

    As I write, it’s a rainy bank holiday Monday (when is it never that?) and my lilac blossom, which has been glorious for the last 3 weeks, is turning to brown and dropping on the ground. Hope you enjoy your stay here with your loved ones. We were so close, what with you being in London!

  2. Kit Says:

    What a glorious happy picture of you all. And England looking so English… I only miss it when I see it like that. My oldest has flown the nest, only as far as Cape Town, and I now understand that wrench that you’ve been writing about all these years. Precious times when you are all together again.

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