Rain pounds on the cream sashed windows. Maybe the only bit of this room with a reasonable decor. Long off white curtains on a black iron pole with little curls at the end and little matching restraints. The curtains themselves have spirals on them, the same off white cream differtiatied by the rougher texture.
On the window sill sit as many plants as can physically fit , interspersed with picture frames of family and friends. This is the best light I can give these treasures in my tiny city centre apartment.
The rest of the room is more haphazard, furniture that looks like it was acquired in various junk sales and charity shops. The walls a testament to why the tenancy agreement says I can’t redecorate. 3 walls painted by a previous tennant a sage green, unbecoming to any room and the fourth a pastel purple, clearly some statement piece by a previous tenant designed to make the place more ‘edgy’. I’m not sure it does that but rather gives it a bit of a nursery vibe.

In The Winter

We sit snuggled up with cups of tea on the worn leather sofa, facing eachother with our feet tucked up beside the other one. We could have a sofa each but it’s snowing out, it’s warmer like this. A ragged hand knit multicolour throw covers our legs and toes as we catch up. We haven’t seen eachother in a while, life just seems to get away with us like that.
Michael tells me about his new job, a minimum wage production line. It sucks but it pays the bills, he waffles on about machines missing barings and plastic wrap ceilings to increase efficiency. It doesn’t make much sense to me, my knowledge of factories is limited but it’s good to see him, to hear him, to just be here.
I’d always thought this was the kind of flat and occupants I would have loved back when I shared with other people, before I found sharing a bathroom unimaginable, someone else dirty dishes in the sink unthinkable.
I find it easy to sit back and listen as Micheal tells me about all that’s wrong with the world. My mind wanders and I begin really seeing the room. This is the great thing about our friendship is I don’t really need to add much to the conversation just be a sympathetic ear, as long as I’m listening mostly all Michael wants to do is be heard. I’m staring at the table now, so ordinary but beautiful at the same time, it looks like it belongs in an architects office, slanted and jagged yet perfectly symmetrical. Vinyl wood coated slanted legs making the whole thing appear as though someone cut the top half of a capital a. The grey plastic chairs softened by the bright cushions and throws that adorn each one, none quite matching but all seeming to just go. Beyond the table the window opens onto the old canals, as all houses do round here. Built almost back to front with what looks like their front doors and front gardens opening on to the narrow brick paths that run beside the water and to their rears there is parking then the road by which you actually access them.
‘ Do you want something to eat?’ Michael interrupts my wandering mind.
‘Mmh maybe,’ I reply, caught slightly off guard, ‘I wouldn’t mind a glass of wine though’
Michael gets up from the couch, untangling himself from the throw. He heads out of the living room door and into the one next to it, another little quirk of his building. I can see him now through the serving hatch, although arch may be more appropriate. A beautiful curved feature point of the room, a link between cooking and dinning.
‘Red or white?’ he calls
I’m not that fussy but as it’s winter it seems appropriate, ‘Red’, I reply.
He pours us each a large glass, in glass tumblers, this isn’t the kind of place wine glasses last long. The ruby red liquid sloshes as it hits the glass and Micheal becons me to fetch mine as he prepares dinner.
‘So how are things? How’s work?’, he asks as he prepares vegetables.
‘its ok’, I reply, I don’t much feel like talking, I just want to relax and soak in the cosy feeling of being around people before I head back to my cold studio. I made the choice to live alone but at times like this I do regret it just a littleĀ 


The warm sun baked the little red car. Windows rolled down, Ann sung her heart out to the local radio as the hills and fields rolled by. The miles under her belt, motorway stretched out before her. Today was a good day for she was going to a place that bought her joy. A conference centre in her home town. There she’d be able to explore the neighbourhood’s she grew up in, parks she’d played in before settling down to work.

Just under 25 miles to her next planned stop on a grand road trip coast to coast. 15, 10, 5. Disaster struck, a pothole in the poorly maintained road and the beeping of the tyre pressure warning light coming on. Thank God it didnt blow out, Ann prays to herself. Obviously something was very wrong but the wheel was still turning for now. As the exit for the services appears she slows the car, indicating off and pulling over into a bay at the first sign of somewhere she may be able to stop.

In this moment Ann says another little prayer to herself, thanking fate this time for the week previous where she had learnt to change a tyre. Ann’s husband Charlie was always pokeing and prodding her little car. There was never anything wrong with it he just liked to make sure it was fit for every journey, at even the whiff of a journey beyond their small towns border, even into the city it satellites, Charlie would insisted on a full check of coolant, oil and tyres. You never know, he tells Ann each time, I just want to make sure you’re safe. Ann knows this is Charlie’s good heart trying to look after her despite her insistence it doesn’t need to be checked this regularly. One day she’d snapped at him, about a week previously, what happens then? What happens if I’m out miles from home and something goes wrong with the car? A tyre bursts, the engine over heats? You’re always doing this stuff for me, how do I deal with it when it actually happens?

That’s how Ann found herself on her hands and knees in their red brick paved driveway learning which bit of the chassis holds all the weight, where the notch is to fit the jack to and how a wheel changes in and out.

Back in the entry way to the services, Ann assessed the car. She could do this, she told herself. Then she assessed what she was wearing. Not in her cream suit trousers she couldn’t. Good thing she was headed to a conference so had her over night bag in the boot. She pulled out a pair of pajama bottoms with pink bunny rabbits printed on them. Not ideal but she’d rather stain these than her suit. Of she plodded to the service station toilets for a quick change.

As Ann returned to the car she saw two middle aged men looking at the wheel, now visibly lacking in air. As she came closer the taller of the two, with long shaggy hair and slightly worn features called to her, hi there little miss, we thought you’d gone to call someone, we can change that for you if you’ve got the kit, save your breakdown coming out.

Ann squinted through the sun at them, they looked friendly enough, the kind of people who you’d expect to know how to change a tyre. But what if they didnt? What if something went wrong? Besides she’d only learnt to change it last week and she’d be dammed if she wasn’t going to use that new knowledge.

It’s ok she replied as she got closer, I think I know what I’m doing, but if you wouldn’t mind passing me the things as I need them then that’d be appreciated.

You sure miss? Those bunnies don’t look overly confident! The shorter of the two joked.

Yeah said Ann, besides it’s my car so if I do something wrong, it’s my fault but if you were to you’d be putting a stranger in danger. It was meant as a joke but it may not have sounded like it as the words left Ann’s mouth.

Ok suit yourself one of the blokes huffed. Then they wandered off leaving Ann alone with her chance to practice her newfound tyre changing skills. Content she got to work. Nuts loosened, car lifted, old tyre off, new tyre on, tighten nuts as much as you can then, drop car, tighten more and away we go! Ann looked at her handy work, thrilled. She was all ready to get back on the road and only one set of bunny print pyjama bottoms had suffered in the process.

Black Coffee

I sit quietly in the conservatory. I like it here. The soft tip tap of the rain on the glass roof. A slightly warm greenhouse effect coaching my sleepy body softly into the awakeness of the day. I’m watching the love of my life make us breakfast . It’s nearly lunch time but as its Sunday we don’t much care.

This is by far my favourite room in the house. Possibly because no one else spends much time here. Definitely because I feel more connected to the world outside, to nature, here than in other parts.

I grew up in the very rural countryside. Before I moved to the city I’d never had neighbours before. The closest thing were the cows that grazed in the fields surrounding my parents house. Or the chime of the rigging of the sailboats moored in the creek a little way down the lane. Then I moved to the city. Rows upon rows of terraced houses with next to no gardens sat more or less on top of each other. Everyone was loud, living in such close proximity and in a society that was absolutely 24 hours that even though everyone was neighbours there was no attempt to know each other. No breathing space to enjoy living, just a means to an end. Now there’s been a change again. In an attempt to break into the property ladder, I’ve joined my boyfriend’s family on a quiet residential area. In a satellite town outside of the city that I fell in love with but close enough to commute. Here there is space to breathe.

My love brings me a coffee. Black, two sugars. Dairy is a thing I learned to avoid as it leaves an uneasy lethargic feeling in me, something I don’t need being the worlds worst morning person as it is. I’ve since found dairy alternatives are ok but just that, ok. I still prefer the taste of my coffee black. It feels more natural. It also looks beautiful as it settles in the small glass mug, a deep black at the bottom facing to an almost caramel hue passing through chocolate as it goes. Nestled on top like a floating ice cap is the golden foam of the crema. Too hot to handle I set it on the table to rest for now while I consider my surroundings.

The rain is still trying to have its presence known, the music on the roof and patterns on the windows an art form in themselves. The plants in here are bigger and greener than their counterparts (counterplants?) under a foot away on the other side of the glass. Here they grow big yet leggy, encouraged by the warmth and light, showered with love and water in their daily routines. The outside ones are smaller, tougher and busier, beautiful in their own way, the thick wax layer on the leaves glittering in the falling rain and sunshine trying to peak through the clouds.

I take a sip of my coffee, bitter and sweet, full of flavour and the last component I need to wake me up into the day. I am happy here, this here is happiness.