International Writers Magazine:
Mike, Im already here, Ok, Ok sure
. Ill see you
Ill just wander round till you get here
Waiting in front of the big red Windmill at the Piet Mondrian exhibition
at the National Gallery I failed to realise how much power that
magical motherly shape still held over me. Its billowing sails
began to rotate sucking me into a magical world of big and small
where the aroma of Douwe Egberts coffee filled my nostrils, mixed
with strong cigarette smoke.
Met with the grinding of coffee mills set upon the wall, hearing the magnificent
crunch of the beans when being lifted up to turn the handle. Opening the
glass drawer underneath to see the results of my efforts, which were then
poured into a small robot on the stove whilst eager aunts await
the boiling water bubbling up over the grains.
The openness of the homes, all windows and space. Great big uncles with
kindly faces and deep voices. Grinning aunts with plates of cake and lots
of children. Hours of biscuit dipping around the kitchen table, which
was frequently dealt a hefty blow by a clenched hand, sharply followed
by a puzzling guffaw. The gruffness in tone of the harsh language. Shower
rooms and no baths. Sheds full of bikes that anyone could ride that magically
brake when you back peddle. Special paths to feel safe on when you ride
them. My grandfathers pipe and pipe cleaning brush; black felt trousers
and clogs on a bike with the hugest of chrome wheels and a basket big
enough for a pig. Duvets and bedding hanging out the windows. The never-ending
"geen melk, geen melk". Potatoes with everything,
on a dining table big enough for at least a hundred people or more. Chocolate
vermicelli on bread for breakfast, yoghurt in milk bottles delivered to
the door. Coca-cola lorries delivering
. Coke, 7 up and
Fanta and, and, and
Chips with mayonnaise, not ketchup.
With eyes wide open, not my mouth
watching my father at the market
dipping raw fish in raw onion, head tilted backwards dropping it into
his open mouth so it fell down his throat, as if touching it with his
tongue was strictly forbidden. Uncles clapping their great big hands loudly
at this amazing feat, then surprisingly all copy him.
Being pulled round markets of socks that fit and cardigans with long enough
sleeves. Scissors ripping through rolls of material with acceptable and
appealing designs, to be sewn into dresses with rolls of cotton that perfectly
match and finished with zips that dont break and much more suitable
buttons. Shoes that were wide enough, knee length socks that did reach
my knees. Jumpers that were warm enough. Coats that were thick enough,
long enough and school trousers that reached past my brothers ankles.
Sweets given freely by shop-keepers without ever having to ask.
The fervent gathering of balls of cheese wrapped in plastic skin all colours
and shapes, round and orange, oval and red, speckled yellow and flat like
waiting for some major game to be played. Jars of herring drowned in vinegar,
some rolled up impaled with a wooden stake, some flat and upright held
in the jar like they were caught in the act of swimming out as the sharp
vinegar was poured in on top of them.
Mercedes cars and Volkswagens; that smell of new leather. Heineken beer
caps popping off during noisy discussion about the Ajax football team.
The Palace of Soestdijk and the day everything turns orange. The Polders.
The dreringen brewery in Amersfoort, the canal ride under
Mondrians house with the little square panes of glass changed by the sun
to various shades of purple
Hi Diana, youre here
wow look at that red windmill
wiping away a sorrowful yet melancholic tear I see my brother standing
next to me
how long had he been there?
.how long had I been
© Diana Goss October 2007
Diana at couplecare.co.uk
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