This is one of those September days that I always love, the nip in the air is unmistakable now. I could smell it mixed with coffee and my husband's aftershave - Polo, I believe - when I came downstairs this morning. That autumnal combination sent a charge through me, despite the desperate sadness of the past few days.
This is one of my working from home days when I'd normally get a couple of things done, then head across to Chorlton meadows with Benji and soak up the beauty across there with him. A few times in the early days I'd get caught short without a pencil to write down some of the ideas that seemed to flow as we were walking. After a while and a few lost ideas, I hit upon writing draft texts on my phone to tide me over till I reached a notebook. I will get back there sometime, but that walk just feels too painful at the moment.
Too soon and too sad, I know, but I looked at photos at the Manchester Dogs' Home website. It brought to my mind that poem I met a couple of weeks ago - Don Paterson's version of Antonio Machado.
When his beloved died
he decided to grow old
and shut himself inside
the empty house, alone
with his memories of her
and the big sunny mirror
where she'd fixed her hair.
This great block of gold
he hoarded like a miser,
thinking here, at least,
he'd lock away the past,
keep one thing intact.
But around the first anniversary,
he began to wonder, to his horror,
about her eyes: Were they brown or black,
or grey? Green? Christ! I can't say ...
One Spring morning, something gave in him;
shouldering his twin grief like a cross,
he shut the front door, turned into the street
and had walked just ten yards, when, from a dark close,
he caught a flash of eyes. He lowered his hat brim
and walked on ... yes, they were like that; like that ...
(from The Eyes - A Version of Antonio Machado, Faber and Faber, 1999)