December 3, 2023

wren child

i remember once when i was very little my mum told me a story about a house with a weather-vane. what’s a weather-vane i asked her and she said it went on top of your house to show you which way the wind blew. what’s wind i asked her but she just said wind is wind. she spoke quietly and said wind is when the air gets hard but how can the air get hard when air is air is air. i remember she put me down and walked off and i think she was thinking about something i couldn’t understand. i asked my nan what one was and she said the same but different. a weather vane goes on top of your house and it is a little ornament that is usually in the shape of a male chicken which is called a cockerel and it moves. what my mum said was right and what my nan said was right but i don’t know who is more right than the other but i don’t suppose it matters because my mum is my nan’s daughter so it’s like they’re the same person being right if you think about it.

she changes like the wind blows is a kind of expression. so is checking how the land lies. they don’t really mean what they sound like but they do mean something even though people don’t really use expressions like that any more. sometimes i say them because i read them in books and i make my nan laugh and she says i am an old soul coming out with things like that when she doesn’t even say them herself. sometimes i read books that seem very very old much older than i am and i say things from them just to make my nan laugh. the other day i said she was a gentleman and a scholar and she laughed so hard it happened to her whole body all at once. i think it is because books are old and it reminds her of the old days when she was little as well.

i do sometimes feel old because i don’t go to school and only adults don’t go to school. i don’t do anything though and most old people have jobs i think they’re meant to. not everybody gets to go to school though i must remember that. my mum is very clever because she went to three types of school and she tells me what she learned about all the kings and queens and horrible wars but it’s good that i’ll never have to worry about remembering all that. i did go to school once but i don’t remember it much now i just remember the sink had paint in it and the special soap we had to put on our hands before every prayer break that made them squeaky and not my own for a while until they were normal again then i’d have to put more soap on to stop germs.

it is easier to stop getting sick than to get better when you are already sick. being sick is different every time it happens because it can be in your tummy or your head or even your feet anywhere. it can also be everywhere all at once which makes it more sore but also easier to say where you’re sick because you just say everywhere. when someone is sick you have to stay away from them so you don’t get sick unless you are a nurse. i have never seen a nurse because i am lucky enough to have never been very sick. when i get sore somewhere my mum or my nan gives me medicine and it goes away quick-sharp my nan says. that pain will go away quick sharp or i’ll go in there and fight it myself she always says. i know i’m too small for her to get inside but it makes me happy that she would fight for me especially the scary stuff like sickness which you aren’t even meant to touch nevermind fight.

when you get sick and you are only little you always get well but sometimes when you don’t you have a man to make you better called a doctor but you need to be very very sick where you might die. people die sometimes which means that you don’t see them anymore but they can still see you i think. a doctor comes to see you when you’re so sick you might die but you also might not. i don’t know what they do but once my nan was so sick she needed a doctor but she didn’t die which was very nice and what i wanted to happen. i didn’t see him because we were not in the same house i think that then nan didn’t live with us because our house is small. it is still small but now she lives with us because she had to leave her house. i think the doctor took it but i don’t know if he lives in it. my nan’s house always had sweeties and the smell of the flowers that weren’t flowers but were in a tin. she would use the tin when she had guests like the doctor.

my mum says that GOVERNMENT took my nan’s house and when she says it her voice goes very different and not nice so i think that he mustn’t be a nice man. he lives in london and he is sometimes on the telly but he is definitely not nice. one of my mum’s old books had something about GOVERNMENT in it but it was a picture of a man that wasn’t him so i didn’t read it because if he has two faces he could be anyone and that is scary. my mum said he is another very clever man but that he is not as clever as he thinks. i think that means he isn’t very clever if he doesn’t know he’s not clever but i didn’t say this to mum because she gets very red in the face when she talks about him because he lives in a big house and we don’t and because i don’t go to school but he has children and they go but i don’t mind that.

my mum says things were different before i was born but i don’t know because i was just a twinkle in her eye back then but even though i was in her eye i don’t remember seeing anything. i must have been even smaller then than i am now and my mum says i am TINY. tiny tiny tilly she sings when she brushes my hair. my hair doesn’t need brushing a lot but my mum’s does because she goes out a lot and she needs to look nice but i don’t go out i stay in with nan which means it was good that nan got sick and came to live at our house. if i was at school i think i would need my hair brushing a lot and i don’t always like to get my hair brushed but i might do it if i went to school and we did stories but not numbers. if we did numbers i don’t think i would go to school because mum tells me about numbers but then she is sad about numbers because we don’t have many numbers and that is why i don’t go to school she says. one day.

phones have numbers i know because we have a phone. tv remotes have numbers and microwaves and the oven and the other phone and the pages on the books in the corners and on paper money and coins it is all numbers but all my mum tells me about are when someone has two oranges and six apples and i know that makes eight fruits but i don’t have any in my basket i just have to imagine and pretend. like a story. but stories can change with the wind.

the wind can change but i don’t know about wind or change. that means i would have no use for a weather-vane.

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