Archives for category: Writing

Gravel – ice – gravel – ice – gravel –ice. In some places the gravel, frozen into the ice, is neatly suspended above more gravel. I’m good at walking on ice now. Weeks of practice and I no longer need to think about it, except when I come to a section of ice-free footpath. I rediscover the old style of walking and unlike ice walking I become fully aware of what I am doing.

This morning the gravelly, dirty, shitty ice was covered with a clean white coat of snow – wet snow, that showed up the hurrying footprints overlapping and gathering at the gate and pedestrian crossing. The lines of footprints and tracks left by pram wheels converged and created an endless sense of going.

As I walked I was one of many contributing to a very large drawing.

All the lovely clean white snow has gone. Now its all dirt, gravel, dog shit, dirty ice, dirty snow and footprints. But, as if to make up for it, the sky is big and bright. No clouds. So, instead of looking down at the ground as I walk I should turn my focus up to see the clean pale blue sky.

Every Sunday morning when I put on my swimmers some grains of North Curl Curl beach come off in my hands and I’m reminded of all those Sunday mornings swimming in the surf at North Curl Curl a year ago. The sand was coarse, the sky was big, the water fresh, blue and salty. We laughed a lot. Now every Sunday morning I pull on my one-piece in the changing room at the pool in Jüri, a small town not far from the north coast of Estonia. I go into the pool area and swim laps, looking out the large windows. Each time I turn to breath I see bright, white snow and children tobogganing.

Minus 19, now that’s cold!
Its alright if you keep moving and unless I buy a balaclava my nose and cheeks will still be exposed and those are the bits that really feel it. After a five minute walk from the bus stop to kindergarten O arrived with a bright red nose and little splotches of red on his cheeks. He looked very cute.
You have to remember not to wipe your runny nose on your mitten because it freezes and will be visible for all to see.
This morning I also discovered that the 23 bus that we catch to kindergarten is not the one to catch coming home. I ended up going in the wrong direction but before it took me too far I got off and hopped on a tram, which brought me to Vabaduse Square. From there I walked. If I’d just started walking all the way home from the kindergarten I would have arrived home sooner.

2 February, 2011

I have learned that you have to take short but quick steps over the ice. The most important thing is to move quickly, not look up and not stop. This is difficult if you need to cross the road and want to know if cars are coming. This morning I walked from the kindergarten to a busy bus stop where you never have to wait long for a bus or trolley bus. It took 15 minutes and the whole way was icy. Some places had been dusted with gravel but mostly it was lumpy, wet ice.

1 February, 2011
I was woken up some time in the early hours of this morning to the hollow thunderous sound of a snowplough scraping the street clean of what has now turned to solid ice. I suppose the snowplough comes along every morning, but so far it has been soft snow that needed to be quietly pushed onto the edge. It is possible that it was a tractor that was pushing the snow-cum-ice.