A 5 ‘o’ clock walk

5 ‘o’ clock in the early evening is a very good time for a walk, especially in Winter.

Put on your big coat, and a scarf, and a hat. Find your gloves. Pull on your boots.

Put in your headphones, lock the door behind you, and walk.

It doesn’t matter where you live. The aim is to enjoy the cold, and to see the bright moon, and the last glows of daylight disappearing behind the tree-line.

I love it. It’s a great time to be out.

If you’re lucky, people won’t have drawn the curtains yet, and you’ll be able to look into the warm, bright houses. The lit windows are like little jewels in the gathering darkness, and inside, all of human life is being played out in fleeting vignettes.

A woman laying the table for supper, placing one piece of cutlery at a time onto a white tablecloth. A cat, curled on a tattered armchair. A bird in a cage. The blue, flickering light from a TV, and a row of children in front of it. A man in a thick jumper coming into a front room, a mug of tea in each hand.

One house has Christmas decorations already up.

In another, a child in the top window is waving (goodbye? hello?) to an older woman, who is getting into a car on the street as you pass.

Rootle your hands deeper into your pockets – it’s cold today.

One more street? OK, and then I’ll circle back round to the start.

If you’re lucky, your own family won’t have drawn the curtains yet, and you can look in wonder into the cosy warmth as you go up the path, thinking:





Hold your treasures tightly

black and white doodle

I don’t mean possessions, I’m not at all materialistic. I find money and things get in the way of the real stuff.

What I mean is the people you love, the habits you’ve formed together. The smiles you share and the games you play.

The odds and ends of life always turn out to be the best bits.

Alex and me have a thing for curling up on the sofa to watch some TV at the end of a long day – and busy evenings with the kids and their friends and everything else going on after work – we don’t usually get there until 10pm. If we’re not watching something together (and at the moment it’s The Handmaid’s Tale – which is another blog post entirely), Alex is so patient and will watch any sort of thing I choose, though he draws the line at hospital emergencies, and so I have to watch them from behind a cushion. Or sometimes I’ll draw and doodle while some film is going on. I’m very annoying – I ask too many questions about the plot, so that’s why I doodle instead.

I usually just draw whatever I can see; all the tiny, familiar but worthless objects that make a world cosy.

It’s nice. It’s boring. It’s love. It’s home.

Hold onto it tightly, and let all the rubbish fall away.


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