The acorn

By Vita Forest

On that first day

In the gardens of the Imperial Palace

(In the part that you can visit

If you are ordinary

And not royal)

Lucy found an acorn on the pathway

Gleaming in the rain

We looked around but could not see


Perhaps he was atop one of the lush leafy trees

That dripped rain onto the soft grass

and the beds of thickly-planted iris

Perhaps he still had his wide black umbrella

And did not need our smaller paler shelters

Translucent as raindrops

Channel surfing

By Vita Forest

After a stressful few months, a couple of weeks back, I succumbed to the flu.  It hit me hard, with a whole week off work, two trips to the doctor, and not much else apart from dozing in bed, watching the box and solving a few Pocket Codeword puzzles (have you tried them?  They are addictive).  On the Monday I was also joined by Lucy, on the Friday, by Max.

On Monday, Lucy worked her way through episode after episode of The Adventures of Merlin Series 1.  I drifted in and out of consciousness, vaguely aware of the latest threats to Camelot, Arthur calling Merlin “an idiot”, handsome knights clattering over cobblestones on striking French steeds, and that this was at the stage in the story where Morgana had not yet crossed over to the dark side.

Over the week, I worked my way through The Bridge on DVD, that fantastic Scandi-noir series from Sweden and Denmark.  Not while the kids were with me of course.  Max had picked up the DVD and remarked that soon he would be old enough to watch things with MA-15 ratings.  Oh joy.  He has shocked his aunt with his intricate knowledge of the workings of Westeros “and how about that Red Wedding hey?  Episode 9 is always really good…” A very well-executed deception.  (Well we do talk about things here, and I had used the Wildlings for inspiration for  some costumes I had been designing at the time).

Both my children enjoy the current crop of shows on finding houses, preferably in foreign climes, or building structures with very small floor plans.  “Yeah, coz you need a three car garage when there are only two drivers in the family”… “it’s tiny, what did he expect?  That’s why it’s called a tiny house!”… “I liked that one with the hand-knitted hammock…”

And one night as I forced some dinner down, I watched in horror an awful show where a bunch of grasping young women with too-much makeup, too-short skirts and too-high heels, where vetted by a raucous threesome, who spoke about them as if they were not there (“I hate your dress” “you stand funny, kind of sideways” “your teeth are awful, get them fixed”), before they were thrown in the way of two thirty-something rich dudes, whose only saving grace seemed to be their large bank accounts.  “Why did you watch it?” Max asked me as I recounted the foul dealings to him as what I hoped was a cautionary tale, “I don’t know,” I answered, “It came on and I just couldn’t believe these people were real.”  But they were real and in a world with The Bachelor (another show I simply detest) I shouldn’t be surprised.

Max was sick on the Friday too, and after briefly checking out a young couple searching for a home in The Netherlands, he went to the cupboard and found My Neighbour Totoro and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Ah joy indeed!  My parents popped in briefly with homemade lamb and barley soup and we slurped it down as we watched these delights, receiving nourishment in a number of different forms.