Back under the arches at Matt’s studio with wet clay and a square of people around the thick table top. As I cycle down into the yard, I can see the blonde and white hair of Sian and Chuckie through the open door.
Even though there is sunshine, the start of the week feels a little grey and sad, sitting at my desk and finding it hard to concentrate. Thinking about the boys and pulling a tag of dry skin on my lips. By eleven it is suddenly hot and I’m annoyed with myself so take a rickety table into the alley outside the studio. The passageway is lit up with white heat and the others from downstairs sit out too. We put a pot of coffee on, I pull off my jumper and turn my face to the sun.
Evening dusk with people playing Frisbee on the grass, cutting a spontaneous diagonal to the pub or the park after work. Bare feet and the bitter taste of beer on my tongue. Blossom in the street and something you say makes me smile.
As I cycle to work each day, the week rolls out ahead: plans and friends coming to stay. The people I pass by are a wave of summer dresses, suits without jackets. If it was caught in a photograph, you’d think it was winter on the Embankment, with frozen fog drifting above the Thames like the start of a Victorian drama. But it is May and the sun is out. I love how British we are: a woman passes me in the street and asks, arms out, “isn’t this amazing?!”, the guys in the garage next to my house shout at me – “fucking gorgeous morning!”.
I sit in the garden of the lady who lives beneath me and work outside, feeling the skin on the backs of my shoulders and I know I am on the tip of burning. The conversation of the builders over the wall makes me laugh and, while I’ve been sitting here, a spider has woven a web between the table and a plant pot. She raises a brown and black striped leg at me in warning as I bend down to look.
Friday afternoon, empty seed pods skeeting across the pavement, the drills of road works, dust in my eyes and I’m on my way to get Ruth from the tube, Sarah will come in the morning – texting us early “I’ll be there at half 9!”. A birthday weekend and we sit outside and eat and drink in the sunshine, I can’t believe it is a year since you girls were here. Sian and Mikey in the park and dancing with Lauren, remembering the sweep of her eyelashes. We eat breakfast in the same place as last year and sit for ages, talking, ordering more coffees.
Sunday night with P, the light on the high street changing from gold to blue and a midnight dash, climbing railings and a run across the black park. Lines of light through the blinds.