The star of this month's film - the atmospheric Binning Woods. You can have a humanist funeral among the trees, with your body laid to rest beneath the carpet of leaves and earth.
Some very beautiful small friends are the co-stars - sustained by chocolate buttons and leaping.
Text below as before...
11th January 2016
Above the neat white line that is Seagull Terrace, the last shreds of darkness are melting away when the news starts to leak from the row of radios.
Today, there’s only one story.
The fat housewife at number 4 clasps her hand to her mouth, and her small son looks up from his porridge as she tries to call the news to his dad upstairs. But her throat fails her.
His dad heard the news ten minutes ago. That’s why he’s still upstairs.
By now, the radios only know one singer. And there’s still just one story.
She starts to sing along...there’s a st…and stops. 20 minutes later, the gold paisley scarf she’d wound round her neck to chase away the rain is a wrinkled, damp knot and no longer capable of chasing anything anywhere.
Her son’s spoon drops as he watches her dance...crumple...dance…fold.
A million breakfast bowls turn pale and salty, and his dad stares at a screen and makes some rapid calculations.
69 minus 52 equals...
His dad tugs at his collar as he adds up the lines and the tokes and the puffs and the shots and he wonders just how many it takes to make 69 the last line of your song.
Did we stop…?
At number 6, an asthmatic teenager looks in disbelief at his bald, bellied uncle’s hands shaking and wonders what that exotic streak could ever have meant to a cab driver from Musselburgh.
I thought he was imm…
I never thought he’d...
The radios keep playing, and though the middle-aged suits’ voices falter, the songs pile up, each wireless wave washing fruits of the sea ashore. One last harvest, a tip of the hat we never saw coming.
The straight-shouldered silver widow at number 8 lifts the receiver and punches in the number of her favourite grandson, the one who used to slip her silk scarves under his grey school jumper when he thought she wasn’t looking, and put on concerts in the garden for her neighbours until their sons began to jeer from behind the fence. He picks up on the first ring.
At number 10, a heavy-browed 12-year-old pulls her stepfather’s guitar towards her, detuning it with her awkward grasp. Cross words are bitten off before they leave his lips when she asks him how to form the chord of G.
At number 4, the fat housewife wipes her face with a knitted hat and starts to tell them about the shy, brainy boy in her class who used to pass her cassettes with the tabs punched in so she couldn’t record over them. The home-made-best-of compilation a long-since-lost friend slipped in her pocket as she set off to conquer the world from a midnight fume-choked bus station.
And how she used it to teach 300 Japanese schoolboys to say ch-ch-ch…
The day is suspended in its own arc; a fortnight of rain fizzes away, a diluted sun in its place. Born into his world, they emerge for a walk, stepping unsurely into a world without.
When night falls again over the red-tiled roofs and whitewashed walls of Seagull Terrace, her son wonders why they’re all outside, heads tilted towards the stars. The row of radios stays tuned; tomorrow, fresh disasters will spill from their speakers, but just for one day, no matter which way they turn the dial, there’s only one story.