formerly at Train Lit Mag
Right there, in the middle of the field. In the plough furrows. Lying on the crumbly soil. At one point, I covered Bert’s eyes with my woolly gloves, and he shouted ‘Gerroff, woman!” which made some model-trainset-little ramblers up on the hill look over. We pulled our corduroys back up and continued with our walk.
Back in the garden. Snail trails on the path, vapour trails on the sky. Inching along.
Bert’s digging the cabbage patch and he’s rolled his sleeves up and undone his shirt so his vest pokes out. I offer to bring him a nice cold bottle of beer but he says he’d rather have a cup of tea. “You don’t really.” “I do.” I go and fetch us both a beer.
Blue moonlight. Bert yawning from both ends. Even with his teeth out, he’s a bit of a bobby dazzler, like a young Bernard Cribbins, grown old. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the night and find him, head on his pillow, looking at me. He’ll come up with some story, “Sodding foxes are at it again” or else he’ll snap his eyes shut and do the worst impression you ever heard of someone sleeping. I spread my fingers through the gaps in his pyjama top, keep them there ‘til his chest’s at rest.
The pills he’s laid out for me for the morning bead my bedside table. I count them like sheep.
A cold sunny morning, so I suggest a stroll on the cliff tops. He looks wary. “No funny business!” he states. Arm in his, the wind in our hair, I’ve got a skip in my step today. Not many people about yet. Green grass blowing. Frothy white horses, out on the sea. I look at my Bert and smile. There’ll be funny business.