North south east west


Look, it’s eight o’ clock to the north with the windows going blue. Listen, the wires and aerials are mostly silent. All the messages they carried are flashing in under the pavement now. See how all the vehicles are facing downhill due east, doubtless to get the first view of the  sun as their owners let the handbrake off and head for work.

SOUTH The chimney pots are catching butter. They too are silent this evening. Even those that still smoke would not dream of lighting up tonight. Call it a lovely July evening, call it a climate emergency, call it both at once, but the only fires tonight are rudimentary cooking experiments in the gardens of people ignoring their  adequate kitchens just the other side of the window.

EAST is downhill all the way to the railway. At this time of the evening in the middle of July the sun’s rays butter up the north facing houses. If you go far enough in this direction, over Purdown, the M32, then agriculture, you’ll come to the A46 just north of Bath. This will be an excellent place to visit on the last day of the month. Wednesday 31st. An event called Poems and Pints, at The Wine Vaults, just behind the Royal Crescent. Yes, I am. I’ll remind you.

WEST diagrammatically speaking is < that way. In our street it’s right at the top of the road. It always is, never mind what time of year it is. At this time of year the sun goes down just behind the launderette and the chemists, though on the other side of the A38 running from north to south into town. From the middle of the road here you can hear two doors up starting the evening’s first row.

The big pic is Japanese anemones (hey, syllepsis) and a rose called Chandos Beauty, beneath which lies Thomasina, our first cat. As I recall she is oriented nose north tail south. Gem, a successor of hers is asleep behind me, oriented west-east. Did I mention 31st in Bath at 7.30? I’ll remind you, and give you directions. Nice pub too.



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