This week with the early sunshine, there is a wind blowing along the street outside my flat, rattling my window a little where it is loose in the frame. I swing it open to feel it blow the hot weather through, moving and pushing morning into the room. On a rooftop three streets away, are the workmen in fluorescent jackets – they are stooped over a small fire, melting something and cutting with a saw. There is the smell of hot oil and red sparks.
The lunchtime cemetery has golden squares, moving bodies, smoke, huge sweeps of blown light and leaves. As I cycle home one evening, the street has long late lines of pale and dark like the shutters of a blind – flick flick flick – sunlight and shadow.
Outside The Artillery, Mikey leans against the wall. He lends me his jacket, the northern sound of his voice, the slip of cold glass in my hands. A friend of a friend passes and we make plans for Saturday night.
Following four girls along the underpass of the Overground. A train thunders overhead and the light is in ellipsis again. Four black coats pulled tight and the sway of four coloured saris beneath – blue, yellow, green and pinks, blending into the painted mural on the high walls either side.
Over the weekend, I walk along the Serpentine with a friend who is visiting the city. We talk about his life and Bristol, my life and London, scuffling through the fallen leaves. We haven’t seen each other for a while and his words always make me laugh. The closeness of swans and Sunday families, dog walkers and roller bladers. There is the feeling of too many bodies, and though I love this moment, love being here, I wish for an open beach, a stretch of field. The way a year ago I was in Crovie: cliffs, the tilt of land, metal waves and shingle shoreline.
We walk over the brow of Hyde Park, past the football games and kites flying in the high sky. There are gusts of huge air over the curving green. We pass an old man who walks at snail’s pace in a grey overcoat and pork pie hat. Slow as we pass him and I catch his eyes, pale blue grey and full of tears against the wind.