Everything came from the earth; potatoes, carrots, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, gherkins, redberries, strawberries, white cabbage, red cabbage, rhubarb, celery, mother would peel and boil into the night father would help in the garden. The old dirt cellar swallowed the fruit, adding the odours of their different skins to her mood, the jars shelved, glass eyes glistening iris of red green yellow marbles too big for the pocket.
Whilst we children broke our backs helping mother with our humble harvest our mates were off enjoying themselves. We caught them from the corner of the eye; the flash of their bikes, of fishing tackle, a hint you are unsure of so you turn your head a second; already gone. You buckle back down to pulling up potatoes to uprooting carrots only to plant them again in the cellar bury them alive and upright in sand so that they will survive the winter.
I never had a new bike let alone an old one; Onyx, Terrot, Peugot, where on the old posters the P looked like a bigger version of teh g to us children who’d just learned hoe to read so were the new authority on the matter. Mine were always put together from spares scrounged from the rag and bone man the children called le monstre. Others dashed by on their new gear. Some had new gear without making a show of it but if you know like I do what a bunch of snobs the French are, you’ll know this last lot was few in number. Me? My bike was put together from leftovers. A working-class family nourished from what the patch of earth behind the house yielded and you could pray till you were blue in the face; it didn’t cough up bikes.
(from Verses Nature, forthcoming)
After one month with all stoppers out and some six hundred revisions later, Verses Nature begins to look like the novel I have in my head. Ready to share some of it with you. Tatar is harmless here but be warned, he is raw and rigorous and likely to offend, but I’m going to let him have his say, along with the other characters. Like the how if not the what, but preferably the lot!