ten: nine 09/05/2019
1. Early morning, I wake to the sound of bin men. I want the covers. I close my eyes. I want the darkness.
2. I want rest in this safe cocoon.
3. I’m constant and fluid.
4. I want chai latte with oat milk, extra hot in a take away cup. I’m sitting in.
5. Oh controversial, he says. No I just know what I want, thinking he’s judging my choice of milk.
6. It takes me a couple of minutes to realise he’s referring to the take away cup. I feel terrible.
7. The tips of my ears are cold. A shiver settles around my shoulders.
8. I trail home, slowly. My calves ache and my heels rub.
9. Off and on the rain falls. Spitting. I still have on my sunglasses.
10. That big white bed with so many pillows is calling.
ten: eight 30/04/2019
1. I skip out of bed into the sea.
2. Walking slowly into the cold still sea, a haze lifts and its magic.
3. Car heating on to the max, coffee and journal and pen. Just 10 minutes more for me.
4. A working day. The only time I want to ride the metro and there’s a bus replacement.
5. I am writer. I am artist. I am web designer. I am friend.
6. Caramel and vanilla, red bush tea and a moment of connection.
7. Body is weary after a few days of growth; physically and psychologically.
8. A quick dinner; pasta shells, chopped tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, red pepper and kale. She enjoyed the salt.
9. Moist triple layer chocolate cake, a leftover from her birthday celebrations.
10. Cool, crisp and clean bedsheets. A girl can dream.
ten: seven 26/04/2019
1. She bounces out of bed. Party sleepover.
2. I stay under the covers grabbing the last bit of peace.
3. My excitement rises as I feel the sand through my toes and the cold wet sea on my thighs.
4. Do not be deceived. The air is warm. The sea is freezing. The tingle lingers.
5. Cleaning out her room. Scraps of paper, used tissues and felt-tip pens with no lids.
6. The doctor will refer me to a specialist.
7. With time to spare before the school run, a walk along the quay fills me with fish and salt.
8. We take her and friend out for pizza and ice cream and fizzy drinks creating a lethal cocktail of burps and farts.
9. Late night movies and dance routines as we are banished to the bedroom.
10. I’m not sure if there will be much sleeping tonight for anybody.
ten: six 25/04/2019
1. We meet for coffee for the first time but talk as if we’ve know each other forever.
2. It is a rare thing; she recognises my light and I recognise hers. We connect.
3. He walks in wearing an orange jacket but she doesn’t notice him. She doesn’t know him.
4. We shop for birthday presents with no ideas in mind but manage to complete the task within the hour.
5. We lunch together. The first time in months and really talk and listen to each other.
6. Katsu sweet potato curry with boiled rice. Sweet and spicy heaven.
7. The rain is unexpected but welcome.
8. The air crackles. Goosebumps and hair rises. I zip up my coat.
9. Bedtime can’t come soon enough. My toes curl when I climb under the duvet.
10. Within the hour, she calls out about having a nightmare. I beckon her into our bed and fall asleep watching her breathe.
ten: five 24/04/2019
1. The light comes through the window in streams.
2. I send a message to my body to move but she refuses.
3. The gulls squawk. My sound alarm.
4. Okay. Coffee. Hot. Bitter. Enough.
5. The sea greets me in white crested waves.
6. He stays in bed again.
7. Okay. Coffee. Hot. Bitter. Enough.
8. Pink cherry blossom brings a skipped best to my heart. I’ve always seen these as fat clusters of delicate love.
9. A band of cramp controls my mid-section. It demands starched food and more starch.
10. Okay. Wine. Cold. Fruity. Enough.
ten: four 23/04/2019
1. I hit the snooze button so many times I loose count. But somehow there’s space enough in the morning routine to move slow.
2. Back to school after the Easter break and and smiles herself awake.
3. We make the line. She is greeted by her peeps and walks into school without looking back.
4. I don’t look back as I’ve dressed for the occasion. Within 5 minutes, I’m stripping off on the beach and pulling on my boots and gloves. I’m going in.
5. After months of no contact, I greet the grey sea with open arms. The cold seeps through to my bones.
6. I’m smiling at the day. I’m wallowing in the freedom. In the wide open space.
7. I spend the day trying to raise my core temperature.
8. Quick boiled pasta and tomato sauce sprinkled with grated cheese. Her favourite.
9. Watching iCarly, I sketch with coloured pencils and charcoal. She says the eyes freak her out.
10. Alone in coming night, I sip Chardonnay and nibble dark chocolate. To hell with getting ready for tomorrow.
ten: three 22/04/2019
1. I didn’t sleep well; late night In the Line of Duty watching.
2. Another hot day. Another laundry day.
3. Vanilla latte and a book on Minimalism. Life can be simple.
4. A copper butterfly taps on the kitchen window.
5. Where do all these dishes comes from?
6. There’s a smell of smoked paprika all day by the back door.
7. Phoenix, a chequered cat in the street, sits upon the the wall and tries to stare me out. I’ve got this.
8. The kitchen becomes my studio for a few hours and colours are spread.
9. A bath bomb turns the water dark navy. Golden sparkles cling to my skin. And the moisture curls the pages of my book.
10. Chocolate ice lolly anyone?
ten: two 21/04/2019
1. They both snore waking me up.
2. I contemplate going to the sea. Losing myself in the cold blanket.
3. I make coffee instead, bitter and hot.
4. He returns home today. He’s been here only a few days but we’ve already fallen into old ways.
5. Another laundry day. The sun will bleach the sheets.
6. The Easter Bunny has been. She’s excited and counts the eggs.
7. I spend time in the kitchen as the heat rises, cutting carrots and onions and potatoes for soup.
8. A grain of rice goes down the wrong way and I cough and cough sending electric pinpricks up and down my back. Water makes no difference.
9. I FaceTime Sarah. It’s been months since we’ve connected. We laugh across the miles.
10. Wine O’Clock and In The Line of Duty.
ten: one 20/04/2019
1. I can smell the morning heat.
2. She rolls onto my back and stays there.
3. ‘You’ve got black spots on your back,’she cries. ‘Let me take a photo so you can see!’
4. I just want to sleep in peace.
5. Cake. I forgot the cake.
6. I rush and make her bagel with chocolate spread and leave.
7. I decide to honour my needs by taking the long way round for the shopping which includes a black decaf coffee and journaling in the sun.
8. For a moment, my shoulders ease away from my ears.
9. The four of us eat cake for breakfast. Play name that tune, laugh and meet later for dinner.
10. She’s back in our bed tonight.