Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Another City

The people of another city unite in their existence. They work hard and raise a smile, walk through sun lit streets in hot, dark suits wishing the day was bleak and that the sun would save itself for Sunday. They stand in trailing job centre queues failing to see the way forward of the council motto or of the solicitor tightening his belt. They pick up their pension with a smile and a joke for a friend but with the knowledge of time to justify contempt. They drive the bus and get thanked by those who wait. They pour another pint with a welcoming grace and a reminder of the warmth of company. They take part in a hedonistic downing of tools, knowing Monday will come but unwilling for the rest of the day to be anything like it.

Saturday, 19 June 2010


Everywhere I go I like to imagine the space differently, the station roof or the structure of the pillars bellow the dock, the closely knit trees and the overhead compartment of the train. I imagine making it my home, building in a place to sleep and a gap for a view. I imagine a world in which it could be done, in which everybody had the freedom to use the space, to leave the overhead compartment with a moving picture of the country and to stumble upon a tree house in north Wales that would keep them for the night.

Leaving Bristol

A woman waved at the train with a bunch of yellow flowers and in her eyes, standing there in the allotment, I could see the beautiful madness of waving at those she had no knowledge of. She was the alternative in the sun. She was the self righteous, privileged and beautiful Bristol I had come to know, a place where more people believe it is possible to be yourself than anywhere I have known.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Railway Line

Girls sit drinking
Beyond a valley of houses
On a platform, shivering
Amongst those in suits

Who half look over
Disaproving, quietly
Resenting the laughter
And confidence, of those

Who fail to understand
You have to go down
The line, have to
Save up your smile

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Lost Mornings of Youth

Today is sunny and white in a suburb of London and I feel as if I walk alone. Through stillness road SE23, calm is interrupted only by the start of a family Sunday, the shout of a child quietly silenced by a parent with one tired eye on the empty day ahead. They are joined by the sound of car engines different distances away, a reminder of those who don't get to stay in bed. The tube will work today, the shops will open and the football will start and finish. Plans are in heads and bodies are in action. I walk towards the lives I hear, resentful of those who have decided to sleep but happy to claim this part of the journey as my own. I think of the mornings lost to sleep, time in which to reconsider and reflect. The possibility of dawn, its calmness and fresh light. As people start to join me on the pavement, as the roads fill up, I regret the loss of this morning and all the mornings of my youth.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Walk into a Public Library

Walk into a public library and there they are, those who are neither fully consumed by the normality of life nor convinced of their literary talent, sat in a public library, making the state work hard to give them an education.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A Week in Leeds

I went to Leeds for a week. I liked its tall buildings and the movement of people through its streets. It was warm and alive but confused and disconnected. Parts of it seemed to have forgotten how to breathe, its main arterial roads clogging up its space. Areas have been created where you are not welcome to walk, where it would be better if you didn't. I imagined a city without these roads, I walked as if they had never existed and found the parts that the built up centre makes you doubt exist at all. I walked the canal and the river, through old mills and factories, over bridges and across roads, I found my way from one place to another, my path connecting them for a moment but leaving them disconnected and cut off, a section of a city and not a part. I could see why these sections had developed and why it was hard to stand still and consider anything other than urban function. It seemed too big to have feelings, to admit its faults, a city with an idea of itself desperately trying to keep up with it. I imagined a future in which my journey would take priority over the traffic, where others would walk and reconnect their streets. I imagined a city that gave more of itself away, that allowed its history and difference to be seen rather than tucking them away behind the money making centre.