Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Time takes a cigarette...

It's been two months since my last post. I stare at the screen and the curser flashes back at me - challenging, accusing - "where have you been?  How do you account for yourself?"

Two months... So much and so little. An interval, an aeon, a blink of an eye.

Last night, we ate cherries from our allotment; the first crop, the ones we'd managed to protect from the birds. I chanted as I lined up the stones at the side of my plate "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief", the rhyme rolled off my tongue as though I'd said it only yesterday. My delight in ending at Rich Man just as strong as the last time that happened, more than forty years ago, in the kitchen at Croxted Road.

This morning, as I dressed for work, I remembered the green pleated skirt I'd bought with the first wages from my Saturday job at Woolworths. I pictured the small clothes shop in West Norwood High Street, imagined myself once again sliding the hangers along the rail, picking out the skirt and taking it into the tiny changing room. I saw my younger self trying it on, twirling and circling in front of the mirror, watching the fabric spinning out wide.

A week ago, a letter arrived. Addressed to The Householder, it came from an insurance company trying to find the family of a man who'd once lived here. I wonder what that would be like, to live and die, distanced from family, leaving no mark.

Two months... Birthdays, a wedding, a weekend in Reading. Formula 1, football, a Wimbledon champ. Sunshine in Greece, fields filled with lavender, working and reading and digging and weeding.

On Thursday it will be five years since the day Philip and I stood side by side in a Dartford registry office, promising to love til death do us part.

Time flies so quickly, and yet not at all.

23 comments:

Marty Damon said...

I've been hopefully watching. How nice to hear your voice again.

mapstew said...

Happy and a verse sir eeeh! :)

xxx

Bobby Stevenson said...

Smashing and brilliant and a very happy 5th. Loads of love x

Bobby Stardust.

(apologies, removed comments were mine - bad spelling :-).

Mrs Smith said...

Congratulations on five years. Lovely to read your words again.

Joe Pereira said...

Welcome back Sharon :)

Mary-Colleen said...

What an unexpected and pleasant surprise to see your post this morning! Your writing always sooths and surprises, especially in the little details: the twirling skirt, the line of cherry pits on the plate.

It's nice to know I'm not the only one guiltily staring at the blinking cursor. I'm inspired to go back and face it down now.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Sounds like you've had a busy two months filled with mostly good things.

Fran said...

Love the way you say things.

Sharon Longworth said...

Gosh - you lot are lovely. After two months of silence, I'd expected this post to be greeted by a vast wall of indifference; I can't tell you how smashing it was to come home and see your comments. Thank you.

Marty - thank you- that's a lovely thing to say

Mapstew - thank you kindly sir!

Bobby - you can take full credit for me finally sitting down and writing something - I took your gentle ticking off in the village hall to heart!

Sharon Longworth said...

Mrs Smith - thank you so much.

Joe - thank you - I do feel properly welcomed back!

Mary-Colleen - I'm looking forward to reading your response to the blinking cursor!

mybabyjohn/Delores - I really don't know where the last couple of months have gone - but yes, I think it's been good. Thank you for sticking with me :)

Fran - thank you!

Hillary said...

Happy anniversary, you two!

I missed your words, Sharon. So glad you're back,

Hillary

Jacksquatch Detangled said...

Welcome back! Even if you're not a Rik Mayall fan ;]

Sharon Longworth said...

Hillary - Too kind, but thank you! (And I loved your latest post, by the way)

Jack - your comment is much appreciated - even when it comes from a Rik Mayall aficionado... :)

Nessa Locke said...

You could take a year off, but I'd still read your post with the same enthusiasm. I can relate to something you've written every time, you know. This time, I remember I bought a black leather biker's jacket with two paychecks when I was sixteen. I never drove a motorcycle, but the jacket was a bold statement back then. I also bought a green skirt, not pleated, but leather...and suede boots.)

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Glad to hear you've been busy with good things. I would never begrudge you a little time off, but I'm glad you have come back!

Zainab Ummer Farook said...

Finally. My Blogger dashboard's been weeping for you to come back, and here you are! Nessa said it all for me.

Time is a bewildering thing indeed! Being in the last year of school hasn't helped my blogging much, what with the gigantic pile of homework and maintaining records for our lab-work. A sudden bout of inspiration is getting me back on track, though.

Lovely to see your words light up my screen again. It's been far too long.

Zainab Ummer Farook said...

Oh, and happy anniversary :)

Sharon Longworth said...

Nessa - thank you! Do you still have the leather jacket?

Blissed out Grandma - thank you so much. It feels a bit like coming back from a long holiday - when you've had a smashing time, but you're glad to be home.

Zainab - you are far, far too kind - but thank you anyway. I hope you keep managing to balance your writing with your school work :)

Pat said...

Nice to have you back Sharon.
I've been eating a lot of cherries lately and stop myself from the habit of years 'He loves me, he loves me not...'
At least I'm spared the odd disquiet when it doesn't come out right:)

Jennifer said...

This was lovely. :) Happy belated anniversary.

Bill Dameron said...

Happy anniversary and wonderful to see you back.

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