Saturday, 16 October 2010

In Which Horses Are Indeed Mentioned

I've decided inside now that I live on an island, a cold rock hunkered down somewhere in the north. I make my liquor out of samphire and my boots out of the seals, hunt soft, sweet crabs in the rock pools and rabbits in the scrub. I eat my fish in waist-deep waves, slicing them to sashimi with my knife of flint and licking out the roe.

My boat is small but he is brave and sometimes I sleep beneath him just to listen to the rain. There are goats on the island but I don't trust them and the foul-tasting puffins nest fat and useless on the cliffs. Down by the dark pool the horses stand, piebald with lichen and unsettlingly still. The dark pool has a skin on it so thick you could walk across it, if you dared.

At night I sit in my implausible caravan as the wind butts and mutters outside. I carve little scrimshaw kittens and read my murderbooks at the table, picking the faux-walnut vinyl off its top. Whales pass by from time to time and once a year the squid come, their lights dancing in the water like drowning stars.

Here on the outside I have another cup of tea. I have spent the morning corralling cats and sewing outlandish trousers and the rest of the day stretches ahead of me in a tangle of wool and hair, paper and smoke, Strictly Come Dancing and softboiled eggs. Later, though, I'll sit shivering in a salted bath and with my fingers in my ears I'll be able to hear the gulls.


  1. Delightful and always worth the wait.

  2. I want to sleep under the boat in the rain with you.

  3. Why shiver? Hot water is good stuff.

    Don't worry, I understand. As long as you're not 14./

  4. I hope those trousers were Papal Swiss Guardish. Out of all the outlandish trousers I've seen, those are my favorite.

  5. this is really good, sack, and oddly sweet for you

  6. Scrimshaw kittens for all of you x