570 & 569

by Max Akroyd

I got my wife back yesterday. Finally returned from a few days as an itinerant painter of things relating to Gilbert White, she is now reinstated chez-nous as celestial centre to the erratic orbits of her many satellites. Coping is ousted and meaning is restored. Life is wholemeal again, rather than thin, white, sliced. More importantly, I don’t have to wrestle with the ironing board, eat horrid supermarket biscuits or feel excruciating at the school gate any more…

After fitting the wife’s ball and chain (extra-large),  I surveyed my estate (the loosest term) and decided things looked soggy. Very soggy: last night having been punctuated by riotous hail storms and other squally things. Getting to the pigs has become a low-grade game show- like challenge of mud soup and slippiness.

It’s all very well ‘working with the seasons’ but nature’s cadence in the autumn months is soporific, and getting busy an act of unnatural defiance. The pigs know it and only emerge occasionally into the open air – and then only when there’s the possibility of some elevenses – often appearing with a saddle of straw bedding clinging to their backs. Everything moves slowly, except the sky; clouds speeding past like shopping days until Christmas. The air is full of things falling, things banging in the wind which should be stuck down, a general risk of outside coming inside.

I went back inside.