Everybody is out

Well here I am, sitting on the old bench again on what appears to be official London “Everybody leave the house” day. I didn’t get the memo but I’ve gone to sit on the bench anyway.

Looking over the river there are more people wandering around in Battersea Park than I’ve seen in two decades of living opposite. There are certainly more people strolling up and down the pavement than is customary on any normal weekend. I’m one of them so I can’t throw stones.


People who at this time of year would usually be lying on the sofa with the blinds down and crisps falling out the side of their mouths as they skip intro on yet another episode of “America’s next dull celebrity” are going to the park because they aren’t supposed to. Some of them have never been in a park before, reared on a lifetime of processed food, concrete and plastic they are frightened of mud.

“What’s this?” they ask, in fear and wonder, seeing a duck. One of them runs in mute terror from a syriphid. Should a sick mole come to ground there will be mass panic and casualties. “ALIENS!”

It’s the perfect London weather. Not yet hot enough to expose the complete lack of air conditioning in the UK. Not cold enough that we have to wear all the clothes in the wardrobe. The rain is staying away. The warm air is moving around. Halfway blue, halfway clouded. Perfect but for the fact that all the introduced plane trees are shitting out their neutered arrows of hell-pollen into my eyes and up my nose. They suck up pollution and drop it in our faces. I am weeping and my nose is running. It’s a pleasant enough evening that I don’t much care. But I won’t last long in it before I put my mask back on.

I bought antacid and now I wish I’d bought antihistamines. I too have been protected from nature enough that it can easily discombobulate me. And I spent my whole childhood with mud under my fingernails.

At least next time my body goes to war with me I’ll have something a bit better than milk and bread. I’m not a hedgehog, even if I’ve been hibernating.

Turns out the night I was up all night was a freaky moon night. I normally know the moon phases in advance and get all ritualistic on their asses but that one crept up on me. I barely know what day it is right now. But it’s comforting that I can retroactively brand my fucked up night as a form of spiritual warfare if I want to. It wasn’t. It was bad diet, lack of exercise and unfamiliar stagnation mixed with too much booze. It was my planet going retrograde and a supermoon in my mother’s birthsign pulling the bile out of me. Perhaps it was both.

I think a bit more walking while we still have the light. Then back home for a sensible bed. The Tempest is back on tomorrow for one last hurrah, so I’ll have to be rested and spend a bit of time working out the greenscreen now I’ve completely rearranged the living room…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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