On May 1st I challenged myself to write 100 posts of exactly 100 words each, over 100 consecutive days. I finished my challenge which was not only a personal one, but was part of the Captain Tom Foundation 100 challenge, so it was a charitable exercise. I wondered while I was doing it how I would feel when it ended, whether it would be relief, or whether I might have found it an interesting and satisfying challenge, and whether I would miss it when it was the 101st day after I started.
It didn’t surprise me that yes, on Day 101 I found myself wondering whether to continue – this time not to raise money or as a challenge, but just as part of my writing day. So on August 9th, the day after the end, I sat here, and yes, I did write something, and I’ve written every day since. It’s not such a commitment because if I miss one, it really won’t matter, it’s not a discipline, it’s an exercise. It was interesting to look back at what I’d written over the fourteen plus weeks, not as a diary or journal, but just as a collection of things I’d pondered on – or things we had done or seen.
I’m not going to share a daily 100 words, maybe I will in the future, but not now; however I will share bundles of five days, so here’s Days 101 – 105:
There’s a smell of burning in the night air. I’m sure no house is a-fire or anything dramatic, someone’s burning something – it smells of paper -after dark.
We used to love bonfires when we were children, burning garden rubbish that didn’t go on the compost heap, feeding the flames and dodging the smoke. On Guy Fawkes Night our back garden bonfires were modest but exciting, we were excited to be dancing about after normal bed-time. Some things made the flames burn blue or green and the bonfire sang, hissing, sizzling, popping and spluttering, then gradually settling back to glowing embers
The villagers hunted everywhere, along the beach and in the dunes, across the salt marshes, up the hill and the fields beyond, in the woods by Folly Lane, in the ditches and dips, looking everywhere they went, trying to find the lost dog. Pictures of Buster were stuck to lamp-posts, dog-walkers hoped their hounds would sniff out the little white terrier, the searches continued as the days passed and hope began to dim.
Hope had more than dimmed, hope had virtually died when the joyous news flashed round – Buster was found! Buster was alive! The lost dog and owner reunited!
There was no sign of rain but there was a dampness in the air. Precipitation wasn’t forecast yet, but as most of the washing, flapping in a half-hearted way on the wonky line was dry, I took it in.
Trying to be organised, folding clothes into the basket, I sensed another change in the playful wind and began to hurry, feeling sure that any moment drops would fall.
All the laundry unpegged, in the basket, and indoors, it was a while before I began to iron; it was a longer while before glancing out, I noticed the road was wet.
We went to the pub, no chums in, no beer either. Businesses are suffering from lack of drivers, breweries included; despite best efforts, in one of those annoying twists of fate, when the beer arrived, two barrels were bad. The best of it was made, but then ninety odd runners descended, hot, thirsty and needing refreshment and food. All hands to the pumps! Peace reigned by the time we arrived, and unusually we sat at the ‘other’ end, the public. The poker players were playing, so was country and western on the juke-box, and we sat and chatted with Terry.
We walked with dog where we often walk at night.. The stars so bright, the dark sky so clear, a piece of moon drifted above the horizon. These empty fields lie between new housing estates and motorway, a great expanse of nothing much, inhabited by small creatures and dog walkers.
We noticed tonight the grasses were shorn, and we could make out wide vehicle tracks across the sward. We know why. Soon more houses will be thrown up, all different, but in actual fact, all the same.
Soon there will be nothing but a built environment from beach to M5