Etched Behind Eyelids | October 2019

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Strawberry hookah wafting out of a cafe, drizzle, and slow moving traffic on the Middleway as a grey day fades to black with the evening rush hour.

3rd October 2019 // From my observations notebook

Winterbourne one Sunday afternoon.

I don’t mind October. The world is still mostly green, and the leaves that have turned and fallen are brightly coloured and crisp. Conkers, acorns and leaves are satisfyingly crunchy, and when the sun shines it’s still strong enough to feel warm. The silver birch opposite our flat is tipped in yellow, but still holds most of its leaves.

6th October 2019 // From my observations notebook

After a day of torrential rain I walked my usual loop of Edgbaston after dark this evening for the first time this autumn. The big Georgian houses looked warm and inviting, shadows moving about in kitchens and living rooms, framed by incandescent light as those within quietly closed curtains against the coming night.

14th October 2019 // From my observations notebook

When she was a kitten I spent hours training Minou to keep off the surfaces. It’s a rule we keep for her own safety as much as hygiene as we’ve always had an electric hob which stays hot long after it has been turned off. She’s really good and hasn’t jumped up for years, so when Ed plopped her down on the table in this pool of light she felt naughty and didn’t know what to do. Her face is turned away as she’s anxiously thinking about how to get down so that she won’t get into trouble.

On the way home from the library on the last Friday of the month I spotted ginkgo leaves in Chamberlain Square. Chamberlain Square is a large public square in Birmingham City Centre which has been closed for close to five years for redevelopment, and as part of the redevelopment the landscapers have planted a row of ginkgo trees. Ginkgo Biloba trees are one of my favourite types of tree as the leaves are so unusual and so pretty, especially in autumn. Up until now I’ve only ever seen one in the UK in Kew Gardens in London, so it made me really happy to spot the new trees in Birmingham as they’re walking distance from home and I can see them all the time. I’m really excited to watch them grow nice and fat in the trunk in years to come. That is of course unless Birmingham City Council get twitchy and bulldoze the square in ten years time for another round of development. Nothing would surprise me at this point, Birmingham is forever shedding its skin and starting again.

The Hagley Road is decorated with pop-up fireworks shops, clowns and the swirl of falling leaves. On the motorway heading south to Gloucestershire, Highways England displays government financed warning signs: ‘Drive to EU, new docs 1st November’.

From my observations notebook // 26th October 2019

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