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Another World (episode II)

10 June 2013 | Category: Stories | Author: Clare

I stared out of the attic window, now a bedroom.

For years my sister's home, now mine for the duration of my stay.

I let the fresh air wash in from outside, flow over my face and neck, awaken all but the most stoic parts of my soul.

Still resigned to defending the wall that housed all things familiar; to guard against impending heartbreak.

Leaning against the sloped ceiling, I stared blankly at the farm, the sea, Scotland.


I would have to leave again soon, and the thought rolled me over like a wave in the ocean.

Drowning in the idea, my stomach clenched, and I felt the all too familiar prickles taunting my eyes.

I shook my head, frowned at myself, and firmly closed the window.

Till next time friend; till next time I would stand here momentarily and dream for an instant eternity about somehow rolling everything from here into everything from there.


The days lulled by, an inexorable flow of enjoyable tasks, and necessary chores. Feeding sheep, dogs, chickens, ducks, occasionally horses. Laughing at lambs dancing like fools on the midden heaps; marvelling at the young and their simple joy at being alive.

The watching for new lambs, the gentle pattern of early nights, and reasonable mornings. The smell of my Mum's coffee, the day peppered with pit-stops to replenish the caffeine levels, and guiltily grin through another delicious baking experiment.

The winding down at the end of the day, much determined by the temperment of the weather. The conceding defeat to a howling gale, the resignation as you clambered into your waterproof gear one more time.

We vaccinated lambs, my sister and I chasing them around the barn one at a time; half laughing, half cursing, sliping and sliding and landing with a burp of profanity on your arse.

The vibrancy of the young lives passing through your hands; bucking and bleeting, and fierce in their dediction to be let go.

Watching with wonder as the hoards of look-a-like creatures braed and bleeted, and beckoned to each other in the ensuing frenzy. The disaster of sheep, and lambs. Each intent on finding the other.

Slowly, like watching the change in a flock of birds overhead, as the lead position rotates; like watching the tide roll farther and farther up the shore.

Slowly, the mob would dispel, the families one at a time leaving the melee, meandering away in infinite peace.

The panic subsiding. The world righted again.


I realised that fox smells distinctly of skunk, just less pungent, less offensive. I frowned remembering that generally the perfume is accompanied by a pile of unfortunate feathers. The last bloody turkey on the farm fell victim to the intoxicating pheremones; unobtrusively rooting out a place to nest, only to be the recipient of the dazzling, toothy, smile of a malevolent fox.

I realised that the front of a quad bike is an invigorating, if not dangerous place to travel. No offence to those concerned, but particularly if driven by someone who cares greatly for the sheep sale proceeds that have just innocently flown off the back of the quad, dancing in the breeze, and threatening to scatter to the wind.  This sad set of circumstances causing abrupt, and inconsiderate breaking ;).

Pickings are slim when your place in the hierarchy has been assumed by a sheep dog.

I remembered mice like to hang out in feed bags, and that sadly their synapses do not fire as quickly as they are accustomed to moving. Their brains only processing the need to vacate as you stick your head into the bag in question to dig food out for feet stamping, impatient sheep.

I remembered rain. Not the passing, occasional patter we bemoan in Golden, but the heavy, unforgiving, downpour of home.

The resignation to always being wet. The reliance on warmth inside, a dry change of clothes, a sense of humour, a sense of resignation.

Rain was not something I thought I would miss. But in a bizarre way I did.

Sitting on the quad, sliping down the field, running after an errant sheep. The rain on your face was wonderful; refreshing, clean, delicious.

I remember walking through the field helping herd a flock of the neighbouring farmer's sheep, in the pouring rain.

It was the loveliest thing. You let your mouth open slightly, and the water runs down your forehead, your cheeks, drips from your nose. Soaks your lips and channels down your neck.

It tastes and smells delicious. The most honest, innocent, non-assuming salve to the soul.

Water at home is soft. You shower and your skin and hair feel like down feathers.

It was an unexpected decadence. A luxury I had forgotten all about.


There is a strangness to my sentiments about home. There are a hundred stories that would make you laugh.

A hundred little things every day that were interesting, or noteworthy.

But my sadness at leaving it behind robs from me the levity necessary in the telling.

Perhaps in time our sense of humour clambers over the debris left over.

Perhaps for some things it never does.


There is an indescribable depth of feeling in saying goodbye to someone dear to you, that you know you will not see for a long time.

You could say it is painful, but that is too simple. It is more like a disbelief.

The part of your brain that mutely follows you around; the part that is simply responsible for your physical reactions.

The main brain says I want to go here, and the limbs comply.

It is that mute part that holds the resevoir of disbelief.

Refusing to action this most rediculous demand.

Leave? But why in the hell would I do that?

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