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The middle of summer, the longest day, the longed for season half gone already. The Friday office, quiet for once, gives pause. The urge to be creative is strong but scattergun. All voltage, little current. And here I am. Writing again.

Wandering around the garden, tree dapple on the lawn, inspecting the veg patch. We’ve lived here long enough, lived long enough, to appreciate the repetition of the seasons. Planting and nurture slow to reward this year but the birds are busy. Blackbirds, magpies, thrushes, tits.

Tits like coconuts;
Sparrows like breadcrumbs.

It’s an old joke.

A beautiful day after a poor month should raise the spirit but only serves to underline the dross we’ve had so far. Our aged oaks show traces of disease, brown curled leaves dotted around, dead, algae covered twigs among the verdance. Old friends showing their age.

ABBA — Knowing me, knowing you on the radio. Ken Bruce in the morning a long time habit, elevenses too, sitting with the cat for company. Memories, good days, bad days.

This feels like a lull before something new, something good. Optimism never far away. Lunch to come, time with my wife. A small barbecue planned later. In Gothenburg once we were told that it is the law to have at least one ice cream on a sunny day, they have so few. Wise words spoken in jest are wise words nonetheless.

Lunch of sandwiches and listening to my wife natter on the too rarely used outdoor seating. I doze off for a delicious quarter hour, wake up befuddled with tingling vision from the now brilliant sun.

My elderly neighbour seems to have bought a new nail gun. The odd percussive thud has me dreaming he’s practicing a new circus act with his little tu-tu’d wife. I imagine her trembling against a spangled board as he shoots a shaky silhouette of nails.

Back at my desk the internet takes its turn to interrupt. Anti-social media invariably spoils the mood. Finding the occasional gold nugget in an ocean of crap is not worth the effort.

My wife off to the gym leaves me as the only one here for the first time in god knows when. I reflect on this busy household. Three grown boys still at home for now. Two businesses run from here. Four cars in and out of the drive. It is home and work and full to the brim.

A message from my middle son. A video from his hotel table overlooking far off salt flats in Bolivia. He’s having something sweet for breakfast to offset the pervading local flavour I guess. On holiday with his delightful girlfriend he looks happy and relaxed. A triumph of parenthood to arrive at this from all those disturbed nights and worries the little bugger put us through.

An afternoon of cricket on the radio. Gentle chatter half listened to, more for the tone than for any deep interest in the game itself. Soothing, oozing, languid words drip slowly from the DAB. Bairstow’s out first ball!

I’m off to get an ice cream.

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All this, and Welsh too.

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