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Searching for the sea

This afternoon Lexi and I were chased by snow devils; whipping, whirling, speeding over the field. Approaching like a row of revenge-seeking ghosts, enveloping us in coldness, stinging exposed skin. Lexi’s immune to such snow sprites mind, thanks to a Lapland-strength undercoat, so their icy efforts were lost on her.

We’ve had a wintery flurry here in South East Britain – mild compared to the rest of the country, but exciting enough. Especially when one doesn’t fill up with petrol and ends up stranded – beside an arterial road, on a verge, lorries rocking the car as they roar past – for an hour. Happily, I had a sleeping bag to keep me warm til help eventually arrived.

Yes, dear reader, today we’re back to prose; journal style – as befits my original intentions for this blog. It appears, given that my life is rather full of nothingness, I have taken to filling the void with poetry. Just another way to comment on my life, I suppose. Today, however, I feel inclined to share stories.

As ever, nothing much has happened this past handful of days; except for some odd things. Take last Thursday night: engrossed in a thriller, murderer about to be revealed, when…all the lights went out. At the same time, several car alarms started up. Curiouser, and curiouser.  Accompanied by my stalwart hound, I ventured out in the foggy darkness to discover the extent of the blackout. I was intrigued by shadowy figures, visible in the gloom only by virtue of their cigarettes. Lexi, however, was simply delighted to be taking the air, and savouring the piquant aromas of 20 different types of dog wee. ‘Mmm. Woody overtones. Seems Boris has been at the furniture again.”  We discovered the blackout affected about eight streets in our neighbourhood. Furthermore, friends some miles away experienced a brief glitch – lights dimming, TVs switching off. Mysterious.

The very strangest thing, however, happened in the early hours of Friday – several hours following the Occasion of the Blackout. At around 5.30am, I was awoken by an alarm, of the WAKE UP! WAKE UP NOW! variety. Not the bedside clock. Seemed to be coming from the lounge. And it wasn’t showing signs of stopping. On investigating – bleary-eyed, birthday-suit bedecked – I discovered it to be my mobile phone, which was stashed in a coat pocket. I hadn’t set the alarm. The phone stores previous alarm settings in case you wish to reuse them. Later investigation showed the phone has never been set for 5.30am. Weirder still – the phone screen didn’t show its usual image of Lexi and the unlock button. The screen was black – but for a picture from 70s TV show “The Professionals”; in cinemascope. This image, in fact:

The Professional (70s TV show)

The Professionals; gracing my phone at 5.30am

What were Bodie and Doyle doing on my phone, and why did they wish to wake me at such an unearthly hour? I can find this image nowhere in my phone. And it hasn’t appeared again. Any insights regarding this mystery are welcomed. I’m utterly flummoxed!

And then on Friday, when I got up at a normal, human, time, and got on with some essay writing – I sneezed blood over Edward W Blyden. Most unfortunate, and not terribly polite.

As ever, there passed no further adventures over the weekend (although we did go to visit my lovely Mum, see previous poem) so we created our own – hiking out over the mudflats into the estuary; searching for the sea, and seagulls to bother.

Dog on mud flats - Thames estuary, Southend-on-Sea

Walking to find the sea

A lot never happens, but the small things count.


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