Looking out the Window


This isn’t like me

I’ve just spent a good half hour worrying because I can’t settle on what to write about in the blog for this week. 

It’s not like I haven’t got anything. It’s just that the thing in the front of my mind is someone else’s story, really, and not for me to be telling. 

Still, it’s hard to move your mind from something when it settles there. Plus, I really want to get one written for this week. I’ve missed a few weeks in the last couple of months and I know that’s how the blog routine will eventually end. One week will become two, two will become a month… I’ll be like every other single blogger in the world – I will have stopped.

In search of an idea, I looked up some random writing prompts on Google. I don’t generally have any time for writing prompts but, in times when one has been foisted on me, I’ve generally done passably okay with it.  So, looking at writing prompts… No… No… Jesus, No… This isn’t working.

Wait, I know. I'll look up some children’s’ writing prompts. That’s more your shoe size, Ken.

On a page of children’s writing prompts, I quickly found the following:

Go look out a window for 30 seconds. Write about what you saw during those 30 seconds.


There are six panes in my window onto the front garden, here in the computer/study/video game/Taxi Driver poster room. Of these six, five are stained by condensation creeping in between the two panes of double glazing and leaving its indelible mark there. The varnish on the hardwood frame needs renewing and the little brass handle that opens the bigger central window is snapped off, making it difficult to operate.

Still, I can see out and I can get it open if I crave air or if an errant fly craves freedom.

Outside, it’s Saturday morning in the garden. The garden doesn’t care.

Next door, I can hear John trimming his lawn. Is it the last run for this year? Maybe not, the weather has been relatively clement. John is using his basic unadorned ‘push-it-yourself’ mower. He’s got an electric one but he likes the finish of the older one, plus it’s a bit of exercise for him. That’s a laugh, though. John, retired this while, has a life of exercise, golfing with his pals regularly, cycling up and down to the shops. It’s me who needs the mower.

There are weeds in the junction between the footpath and the road… but only outside my house. Everybody else seems to be more conscientious about attacking theirs with a spade and a plastic bag. I did my part a few months ago but the weeds just grew back. Go figure.

At the start of the pandemic, I trimmed all the bushes and hit all the weeds but the bushes are now back to where they were and the pile of cuttings that formed in my March/April attack is still down the back by the shed. So I guess I'm worse off than when I started.

I wonder why I am more useless than everybody else at keeping up with basic maintenance tasks… oh, yeah (types some more).

I wish I had a photograph of the tree in the front garden from when we moved in here twenty-three years ago. I bet it was a lot smaller then.

I’ve written about the cats before but, man, there are a lot of them. I think there’s a house up one end of the street that lets their moggies breed and breed and then there’s a house at the other end of the street that kindly leave food out for this mob. Maybe not, I don’t know. All I know is that there are a lot of cats. They prowl around and eye each other up and they stalk the birds in an unmotivated way and they hang around the warmth of the car. Sometimes one particularly adventurous one comes in the house for a look around. It was in our bedroom at about 3.30 am one night last week. A paper bag with a new pair of trousers in it started crinkling gently and I thought the mice were finally back. I like cats but I’m not so gone on an uninvited guest bedding down in my chinos in the dead of night. Still, it’s a minor cross to bear.

My front lawn is green. That’s about all I can say in its favour. To name its constituent parts as ‘grass’ would be something of an overstatement.

I like my street. It’s a residential cul-de-sac so most of the cars that go up and down are familiar to me. I am on nodding and smiling acquaintance with the bulk of my neighbours but I’m not much use with names. It’s a quiet, companionable street and I’m happy here.

Venturing back to my window to see what else I can tell you. Not all that much. It’s Sunday morning now, though it was Saturday at the start of this ramble. No, I haven’t been doing this all that time. But I haven’t been doing much gardening either. Maybe I’d better get my boots on and get that pavement verge scraped of weeds. But it’s early still and I don’t want to disturb anybody’s well-deserved Sunday lie-in.

Maybe I’ll leave it to later on. 

Maybe I’ll do it then.

Then again, maybe I won’t.


Jim Murdoch said...

A couple of days ago I looked out of my office window. I mention this particular event because of, as Birdie would put it, its unusualitiness. You see for the past God-alone-knows-how-many-but-a-goodly-number of years I’ve had my window blocked up with, of all things, an exercise mat Carrie had me get and somehow (we won’t go into how-how as this is a public forum) never found a use for. Anyway as it was window-sized that seemed like the obvious place. Obvious to me at least. So why was it removed? Not so I could see outside although the view isn’t half bad but because we’re moving. We got the e-mail yesterday although we started packing almost a week ago. We’ve allowed ourselves a decent amount of time which is as well because I’m sitting here surrounded by fifty packing boxes and that’s mostly my office. SO MANY BOOKS! I threw out one—Leonard Maltin’s TV, Movie & Video Guide: The New 1988 Edition—and that was one too many. I mean I KNOW I’ll never read 99.9% of them again but they’re more than decoration. One other item I couldn’t find it in me to chuck out was a DIY tab creator I bought over forty years ago—this will be its eleventh house move—and I’ve never opened it. I’ve throw out far more valuable things—literally and figuratively—so what’s so special about this it keeps making the cut? Hell I even threw out my old mix tapes this time… most of 'em; I hung onto Sue Saad and the Next’s eponymous and only album of all things which I’m listening to right now and getting quite sentimental (I’m trying to work out who the hell I knew who might’ve had a copy for me to tape and I’m coming up with a long line of blanks) so I will try to keep up with my online commitments but if I’m a bit slower getting round to responding or (perish the thought!) miss one at least you know why. Christ, Ken, even my aches have aches.

Ken Armstrong said...

No worries, Jim, I wish you are Carrie an easy move and I hope that the new place is everything you might both dream of.