Wye at Hereford – mute swan paddles through reflections of the Bishop’s Palace. Photo by me.



From our big sky vista to a small Victorian brick yard, my pot garden is ruffled, but not dead. Plants, some bagged for ease of carry, are limp over algae concrete sloping to a small drain cover I already cleaned.

I couldn’t face a last fare-thee-well to my Cardiffian birds. I looked up briefly through the crack in the door, hand on steering wheel, as I lowered into the driving seat. A few gulls and pigeons peered down at me from the balcony wall, and I felt rightly judged. That was it.

We have committed a form of ecocide. Or rushed translocation. I hope the latter, although hundreds of insects, worms and slugs still exist between rubber tiles to fend for themselves for however long possible. The bats will hunt over the place where the pot-pond thrumbed, and they will find nothing.

Some small fauna came with us, to mix up the gene pool here in Hereford. I have seen them around the bags of home-made compost my brother, sister-in-law, and their son, kindly dragged here with all their powers. But there are cats either side of us now. Pretty, wirey, wiley. We’ve cuddled already, yes, but I know there won’t be birds here because of them. Perhaps they catch rats. I saw a big one, dead fresh, eyes still bright, just up the road. I mourned her as few would.

I don’t know what comes next, fully. Box and bag sifting through sore memories. Weight loss. Pandemic has brought me a new mental health worry.  Covid19 threat requires a lower BMI. My SSRI Sertraline causes weight gain. My anxiety will have to rise to survive.

To a degree, I am still hopeful. I have to be, because there is no certainty. Hopeful, to have a chance at further formal studies. I am raw, and more-than-half expecting failure ~ the type of expectation developed to protect oneself from the colossal let-downs that seem inevitable.

So much so, I think that I can no longer relate to success as any sane person.

I am fifty, surviving traumatic bereavement, divorce, financial insecurity, Bendog death, hysterectomy, cancer, treatment, a furiously broken heart, publisher and scholarship rejection, Twitter maelstroms, idea-appropriation, pandemic, major surgery, and with my daughter about to launch herself into sixth form after, and during, a very uncertain time.

But I do have life, awildians, a rental, siblings, and most important to me, I have my beautiful daughter. I just want things to go well now for us. I think I will be happy writing here. And all else that I can do. We have more space, more rooms. We are already making it ours.




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