Oppressive heat. Barely a breath of wind. Smoke, something noxious, burning. A plane breaks the stillness. There is no restbite, the stifling heat continues.
Standing at my open living room window. A flash of lightening followed, soon afterwards by the angry thunder eclipsing, momentarily the incessant patter of the rain.
Branches russle, the wild wind like a passionate, half crazed lover wraps me in her wild embrace. I revel in her untamed grasp, long to go with her yet fear letting go.
Beyond the noisy elements birds sing and, imperceptibly, summer dwindles towards it’s close.
Standing in my kitchen, peeling an orange, I was arrested in my progress by a sound cold, short and sharp – The barking of one of the many foxes who make their homes in and around Crystal Palace. “Bark” the sound sent a shiver down my spine. Once again, “bark”, what are you about my friend? Do you hunt for food or call to your brethren? My dog lies seemingly unperturbed in his bed. He is your distant cousin but on this evening acknowledges you not. Sometimes he stands, nose pressed against the window, intent on you, his distant relative in the garden far below, but tonight he communes not with you. Fox, dog, so close and yet so far removed. Creature of domesticity, something wild lurks within. Sometimes you give short, sharp barks like your relation yet, if your paths chanced to cross you would give chase. You are, my dog, mine but not wholly so. You are part of the domestic hearth but yet have a paw in the wilderness. When you dream you are, I think closer to the wild fox calling at my window than you are to puny man.
The barking has ceased but the sound of death lingers on.
On popping into the hairdressers this morning (I like to get my hair cut at least once a year whether it needs it or not), I learned that the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, had visited the Upper Norwood and Crystal Palace area in which I live, http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/archive/2013/12/09/10864355.Labour_leader_Ed_Miliband_visits_small_businesses_in_Upper_Norwood_and_Crystal_Palace/. Apparently he popped into the shop but, I understand that he did not enjoy the attentions of the excellent hairdressers who, periodically have the dubious pleasure of cutting my own unruly mop! He did, however pop into the BookSeller Crow, a shop which I visit from time to time. The visit was aimed at promoting local small businesses of which BookSeller Crow is one such.
The above news pales into insignificance compared to the exploits of my guide dog, Trigger who decided, while I was having my hair cut, to present a towel to a gentleman who was also having his hair cut. It is the retriever in him which causes him to pick up all kinds of objects, my guide dog that is, not the customer.
Here in London’s Crystal Palace autumn lingers. The perfume from fallen leaves scents the air. How strange that people spend vast amounts on expensive scents when nature produces perfumes more fragrant than anything man is capable of producing.
Autumn is melancholy and beauty inextricably interwoven. The gorgeous smells emanating from the newly fallen leaves make me feel good to be alive. Yet it is, at the same time the dying of the year, the interlude between life giving summer with it’s blooming roses and winter which will, inevitably clasp us to her icey bosom. Yet life continues far beneath winter’s frosty grip and, come the spring we will be delighted by birds building their nests, roses budding and the sound of lawn mowers as the powerful aroma of newly mown grass scents the air. The great cycle, turn and turn again. We are part of something beautiful and a little mysterious.
Today’s Daily Mail carries an article concerning the possible rebuilding of the Crystal Palace which was destroyed by fire in 1936. I live some 25 minutes walk from Crystal Palace park which contains the ruins of the Crystal Palace, consequently I was interested to learn of the plans of a Chinese billionaire to reconstruct the glass structure.
Today Crystal Palace is a wonderful place in which to enjoy a walk with it’s lush green grass (well perhaps not so verdant at this time of year), the lake with it’s wild fowl and the sports centre for those possessing the spirit of adventure. Watch out for the dinosaurs though which lurk by the lake ready to pounce on the unwary!
I will soon be famous. Let me rephrase that. I will soon be famous in my own locality for at least 15 minutes. It will be as a consequence of my writing. The reason I hear you ask? Have I written a short story which will wow the inhabitants of Crystal Palace and it’s environs when it appears in the local newspaper? No not quite. I am however fed up to the back teeth with my laptop which is not behaving as it should. To take just one example when I visit websites the machine frequently freezes and the only way in which I can close the internet is by resorting to the use of task manager! I have on several occasions been on the point of hurling the hapless computer out of the window. What a satisfying crash that dratted machine would make as it hit the ground. I can see the headlines now
“Mad writer flips his lid and throws laptop out of window accidentally braining neighbour”!
Well on the basis that all publicity is good publicity can someone open the window please, there is a mad writer on the loose.
I shall be taking a break from blogging for a week or so while my mum and her partner visit my sprawling estate in the country. Err I mean my flat in Crystal Palace (the estate was wishful thinking)! I must go now due to the need to brief the servants on the preparations for tonight’s banquet. See you all in a week or so. Kevin
Yesterday evening on the way home from a restaurant , with my friend Jeff, he and I where delighted by the singing of a blackbird. There he sat atop an urban chimney in the heart of Crystal Palace singing fit to burst. His singing filled that busy street with music and he made me feel life coursing through my veins. Beauty in the heart of the city.
Below is a short biography of yours truly. I won’t claim that it is comprehensive, it certainly isn’t, nor will I state that it reveals any secrets (not that I have any secrets to reveal you understand)!
KEVIN MORRIS BIOGRAPHY
I was born in Liverpool on 6 January 1969, a year best known of course for my birth. Well no actually it is better known for the moon landings which certain peculiar conspiracy theorists still maintain never took place (the moon landings that is, not my birth).
One of my earliest recollections is of eating roast dinners, on Saturday in British Home Stores with my grandfather. Although cooked in the kitchen of a department store they tasted wonderful to a small boy but then again it is easy to look back at one’s childhood with rose tinted spectacles.
On Saturdays my grandfather and I would invariably pop into W H Smiths and buy a book. Often he bought Enid Blighton books and I’ve happy memories of him reading to me about the adventures of Julian, Dick and Ann not forgetting Timmy the Dog (who could)! Being blind it was a real treat to sit on my grandfather’s knee hearing him regail me with children’s adventures. It was from my grandfather a man who had never so much dreamed of going to university that I derived my love of literature.
As I grew older I learned to read braille which opened up a world of independent reading to me. Only a tiny proportion of books are available in braille, however it was still amazing to me, as a young boy to be able to sit with a book on my knee reading for myself. Besides braille I was also a huge consumer of spoken word cassettes, everything from Treasure Island to Wuthering Heights. I still possess almost all of the many cassettes which I have purchased and had bought for me over the years but many of them have now warped with age so are, sadly unusable. Today it is the text to speech facility on my Kindle and Ibooks (using voiceover) on my Ipad which is my favourite means of accessing the wonderful world of literature.
I attended school in Liverpool and later went onto read history and politics at university. I must be a glutton for punishment as having obtained my degree I went onto study for and obtain a MA in political theory (I can see your eyes glazing over already)!
Since 1994 I have lived and worked in London. I live in Crystal Palace a part of London high above sea level and famed for it’s steep hills. It is very green and the air is much fresher than many parts of London. I like were I live and I’m lucky that my home overlooks a large garden and an historic park.
Enough about me for now at least.