It was a dark afternoon. Well dark enough to be called night. But the clocks had just changed. It seemed too early to be night. Since the weekend, still only 2 days past, I had felt something change. Where previously I had sought the light, now I moved towards the dark. I wanted to feel lost in it. I wanted it to hide me, hide my flaws, hide my inadequacies, hide my worries. I leered towards corners, behind things, to places where less light might come. At one moment in early afternoon I suddenly found myself at the back of the shed. I had forgotten why I was there. A dusty cobwebby place I had found hard to go in during the summer. But now I was rootling around in it, looking for things which I never found and as I didn't find them, I forget what they might be. I found myself lost in my forgetfulness. As soon as I touched on an idea and started to follow it, I would forget what it had been but find myself still searching, still looking for something, just not at all sure what it might be. I could have come out of the shed and pulled myself together but now the light felt harsh.
We wandered out to the edge of the village, hoping that we would find a garden that other people hadn't yet visited. At the end of a lane we came across a gate in a hedge. Over the gate grew a tangle of roses covered in small white flowers. Walking through this flowery arch I thought of my grandmother's wedding. It had been at least 60 years before I'd been alive but I'd seen the photos. Across the gateway outside her house they had made a massive arch of flowers. It must have taken days to make and needed several tall ladders. But who made it? Was it the village? Or the servants? Had they chosen to do it or were they asked to? If they'd been asked to then they were doing it as part of the their job. And why was it made? Did they expect the bride to need such an arch to show they cared? Was she a celebrity who always needed a little bolster to her flagging ego? Was it only made for the photos even though it was over 100 years ago? They're all dead now so I can't ask them. I 'd still like to know.
I am going to start this again,' she said, as she assembled all the necessary tools. 'It must be possible to do it better if I just start all over again. As if I've never done it before.' She looked over at her nephew, sat in his chair at the end of the table. He nodded. She nodded back. He continued to nod, watching her carefully to see when she stopped. 'Bless,' she said, looking back at her array of shiney, sharp and incisive tools. 'If only you could, Billy.' Billy banged the table with his spoon and started to dribble. 'Oh Billy, Billy,' she said and sighed. 'Maybe tomorrow I'll have another go.' She opened the green baize-lined box and started to put the tools away. Putting them away was always harder. When she took them out there was always the possibility that this time she might actually use them. Putting them back, she knew that she hadn't, that once again she'd tried but something had got in the way. It wasn't quite clear what exactly, but something which made the task impossible.