The Row is wreathed in the smoke of BBQs. The communal back green is hotching with sun reddening white skinned Scots (and many honorary Scots – cos this Row is a safe haven for English immigrants escaping their barbarous heathen right wing regions). Sausages, burgers, steaks, chicken wings – they are adopting their customary charcoal coats to hide their under-cooked middles. Someone will suffer a dose of the trots tonight.
We have new neighbours. A wee tribe of ex-pat angles renting number 7. Another family occupying that space. And seeing them I thought of those who were gone.
Today has been a day of looking back. Realising that I am at the age when the bulk of life is behind me. Days like this join a lengthening vista of similar days now past. And I feel the shadowy presence of friends and neighbours lost and moved on. Do you remember when…? That is the motif of a glitteringly sunny day like today.
As I type I can hear the laughter of my own two wee ones. Racing after footballs. The baby high and squealing as she thunders the ball past her leaden footed brother into the make shift goal mouth.
R is stripping the garden back. Peeling away the winter layers of dead vegetation. Scything the wild dog roses which are already half way to rosehip fecundity. The badger sett has been left – a dirt-dust mound, scat-trailed – for this years inhabitants to rest and live in peace.
Salad day. I am going to snip the wild leaves and sit in the sun amongst the buzz of insects.
Tomorrow is the first day of a busy stressing work week. But for today there shall be this little oasis.
The Row before the descent of the hoards of sun-worshipping BBQ-ers….