End of the year, and the energy drains out of me counter-clockwise like water running out of a basin, making a dash for the plughole. The small foxy dog has a new frenemy next door, a Jack Russell who has a piercing effervescent bark and they stand shouting at one another through a garden wall peephole. The Great Dane is excluded from this and taunted by a squirrel behind hydrangea bushes. He barks at the squirrel in a deep alarmed voice. The small white dog stays with me and barks for biscuits, teetering on her hind legs and squeaking hopefully. All very endearing and wearying.
Made a successful Italian hazelnut and caramel gelato which is so truly Italian that it has stayed semi-freddo (which means it never quite sets hard). Reading Elena Ferrante and WG Sebald and Leopardi’s poems in Italian. Working on translations, fiction and editing. Waiting for my blue hydrangeas to flower along with the electric-blue agapanthus, getting up before dawn and then finding myself half-conscious, stupefied by early afternoon.
Gave myself the day off on Sunday — no choice because the electricity was cut for load-shedding — and sat worrying about work instead of doing work. Too hot for walking even under the canopied trees, glare, shade, glare, shade, bars of hot arid glare across the road even at 9am. Palm trees rustling in nearby gardens, bougainvillea heavy with saturated colours: dark purple, brick-red, violent mauves hanging in great spillovers from walls and rooftops. At night I wave my arms about as I go into the kitchen and turn on lights, flailing at cicadas and moths, tiny geckos skittering up walls.
Dream that I was walking with an old friend who did not seem like a friend but more of a prying stranger and we passed two dead and blinded horses lying inert on the winding mountain pass. I was conscious of how much time had passed, how late it was in life for both of us, stiff walkers bent a little from the weight of rucksacks, time dancing all around us like a a swarm of gilded bees or glittering butterflies, iridescent wings and perturbed oscillation, time breaking up into fractions of light particles, time swarming and gathering like a wave about to break again, break up into myriad darting fire flies, pinpoints of light that swell and shatter together.
“I’m alive. Thinking about it, noticing it, is new. You do things and don’t watch. Then all of a sudden you look and see what you’re doing and it’s the first time, really.”
– Ray Bradbury