I sell items which are associated in some way with my stories. The story-copyright is not for sale.



story book rollover to doubletoothed narwhal

Batch 2, story 1


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kingfisher butt at base of handle

left side of jug with kingfisher

front of jug with flag plant

right side of jug with water and  flag leaves

the kingfisher or halcyon and his beady eye






SATURDAY: Right, I've had enough of the noise. How can one compose when the place vibrates with it? It all came to a head at five in the morning when I was seated on the lavatory waiting for my daily inspiration. The whole east side of this house is a soundbox for that rookery. Then Farmer George's crop-sprayer started up, and that was it for Saturday.

SUNDAY: Eileen George came round.
'How's work?' she said.
'I need peace,' I said.
'You mean world peace?'
'It'll do,' I said.

MONDAY: News headlines: 'Peace talks broken down again.' Tell me about it. It's an impasse. The last time I arranged to have the trees lopped to three foot, the blasted conservationists had a Protection order slapped on them. Then when I had the builders round to brick up all my east windows, lo and behold, there was that smirking Council jobsworth with his clipboard, saying we'd been listed.
'It's your fault for having your house built by that guy who designed the opera house.'
'I wanted acoustics,' I said.
'You gottem,' he said.

TUESDAY: Eileen came in my kitchen with something blue. She put it on the table, under the sunbeam. It went bluer.
'What's that old jug for?'
'Very kind, but it's not my birthday.'
'It's been in my family since 1939. There's a story to it.'
'Oh, go on then. Distract me from the constipation.'
'My granddad won it at poker in lieu of a fifty-pound i.o.u. He was told it was a wishing jug.
Well that cheered me up a bit.
'Don't laugh, there's more. You put water in it and wish for peace. No, no, give it back, wait. There's a snag.'
'Go on.'
'It only works once.'
'There's a price.'
'A member of your family dies. That's the deal. Are you listening? Granny tried to sell it on, but everyone had heard the story. There was a war on, and they had two boys in France, and one in North Africa.'
'So what did they do?'
'Prayed for war and dumped it in the shed. I just dug it out for you.'
'Ah yes. Ive got no family.'

WEDNESDAY: Noise. It's rook soup out there. Jug still on the table. Now the sun's gone, it's a dull, plain little thing, all faded round the middle. I gave her a bottle of wine for it. I've been diddled. Peace: what I would give for it.

THURSDAY: Goodness only knows what happened today. I put water in the jug, didn't I, just to see. I looked in, and just then the crop-sprayer started up again - how long does it take to spray one field? Well, the jug didn't work yet, did it? Then I thought I'd take it in the sun, just to see that blue glow again.
As you look, the colours make rings: the cobalt rim of the jug, then the faded bit halfway down, then the water - lapping, colourless - and something else. So there was I, sitting on the birdpooey grass sweating already, in all that engine-noise and monoquat-stink blowing onto my vegetable patch, and me boggling into the blue. Alright,the jug got hot, but that was the sun. It twisted and bubbled; it was like holding a plastic bag with an excited rat in it. There were eyes with blue irises in the water: reflections I suppose.
Then all went quiet. Rooks shut up, sprayer stopped. George repairing. Wind still. When you are not used to silence, it feels like fingers poking into your ears. The fingers poked and poked. No traffic, no dogs barking. I lay down on the grass and heard it growing. And I heard the feet of all those rooks on the branches and in their nests, and their squabs crunching the heads off field voles.

FRIDAY: Finished the symphony. Rooks all on the window sill, but at least they've shut up. The bubbles on the jug look like blue irises and a halcyon killing a fish and looking at me. Made lemonade in the jug. Best ever. Did not open the post today: hospital letter came. It can wait. Looked in the mirror and gave myself a hug. I don't need a family, I have me. I am my family.

Copyright © 2003 LS


iris under lip of jug

jug handle with iris and kingfisher tail

jug front with flag plant

view inside jug




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burleigh ironstone staffordshire england stamp