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You didn’t tell me about your French trip, Brassie.

No.  I’ve just been so frantic sewing all the name tapes into the twins’

clothes.  After the start of term I always feel like another holiday.  In

fact, whenever we are en vacances as a family I realise that I can’t

recreate the dream of those first magical trips across the Channel.

Yes, I responded with feeling.  Do you remember the romantic holidays

with your first boyfriend?  Everything was innocent in those days. There

was a sweetness that kids today will never experience, because of the

restraint, which makes the relationships all the more poignant in the

recherche du temps perdu, to make a Proustian reference.

Oh Candia, you always take a cerebral approach to life.

Not at all, I replied, taking a folded up piece of paper from my designer

vintage handbag- a trophy from Help The Ancient charity shop- before their

prices took a Himalayan hike. Read this.  I found it in my desk drawer




It was the smallest port in France.  Sea mist

stole in, shrouding an ashen harbour, name

forgotten now.  I recollect we kissed,

lay curled in gloom, till dank fog damped our flame

of desire.  All around loomed hydrangeas:

the palest lilac I had ever seen.

And though Time’s chromatography changes

the memory of that dimmed scene,

their hue persists; that tone tinctures my mind.

Sere shadows, like Brockenspectres assume

monumental presence; therefore I find

they remain, though all else has lost its bloom.