Dr Jive Goes to Mundesley by Chris Green
‘I recommend you listen to two hours of Einaudi each evening,’ Dr Jive says. ‘Soft piano music is perfect for quiet contemplation. You will notice a significant improvement in just a few days.’
‘Two hours of Einaudi?’ I say. ‘That’s not really my thing, doctor. I like to listen to experimental jazz on my headset when I go jogging in the evening. Avant-garde stuff. Pharoah Saunders, The World Saxophone Quartet, The Kilimanjaro DarkJazz Ensemble, that sort of thing.’
‘Cut out the jogging altogether,’ Dr Jive continues. ‘No wonder you feel so stressed. Exercise is no good for relaxation. You need to be still. Focus the mind. But get rid of the jazz. And get some Rothko pictures on your walls to focus on.’
I point out that Marc Rothko suffered aneurysm of the aorta as a result of his chronic high blood pressure and committed suicide, overdosing on antidepressants. I watched a series recently on the tragic deaths of 20th Century American painters.
‘Did he now? H’mm interesting…. All the same, his paintings instil a sense of calm. His aim was to relieve modern man’s spiritual emptiness. Take my word! You will sleep much better with the influence of Einaudi and Rothko. Try Gorecki some evenings as well. The Third Symphony is a good place to start’
‘Isn’t that The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs?’ I say.
‘That’s the one,’ he confirms. ‘Not sorrowful at all in my opinion, though, quite uplifting in fact. I listen to it when I am driving to the surgery. Now, let’s see. What else can we do? I expect you have a houseful of unnecessary consumer durables, a 60 inch TV, an all singing all dancing laptop, and a kitchen full of white goods and gadgets. Am I right?’
‘Be a good thing to get rid of those too. Clutter is one of the main causes of stress. What colour are the walls of the rooms in your house?’
I conjure up a mental image of each of the rooms, in turn, a mishmash of orange, pink and purple and explain that Tracey and I don’t have a unifying colour scheme.
‘Best to paint them all blue then,’ he says.
I have not seen Dr Jive before. He is new to the practice, and I am beginning to feel his approach to medical matters is a little unconventional. My usual practitioner, Dr Straight is on sabbatical. Dr Straight would have blamed my symptoms of stress on the long hours I put in at work, written a prescription for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and left it at that, but Dr Jive seems determined to pursue a more holistic approach.
‘Phones are the worst thing for stress,’ he continues. ‘You are constantly on edge in case they ring, so you never get to completely relax. Mobile phones are producing a race of neurotics. I get half a dozen people in here every week suffering from a smorgasbord of neuroses and I ask them, have they bought a new phone recently, and the answer is invariably yes. I take it that you have just bought a new device.’
‘Last week,’ I tell him. ‘A Samsung Galaxy. It does just about everything, but I have to admit it’s weak on it’s primary function. I still can’t work out how to make ordinary phonecalls on it.’
‘You need to ditch it,’ he says. ‘You can leave it with me if you like, and I will send it to Africa.’
Why do the people of Africa need these pocket neuroses, I wonder. Aren’t their own lives already stressful enough? I keep quiet.
Over the course of the consultation, Dr Jive tells me to avoid red meat, red peppers, red cabbage and red wine, in fact, anything red. He tells me where I can find an Tanden Healing practitioner and where the nearest Buddhist meeting is. He even gives me the contact details of a group of Yogic flyers.
When I get home ,Tracey is hoovering the lounge carpet, a Mashad design in a mixture of reds, blues and purples, which given Dr Jive’s insight, might clash with the orange and yellow geometric pattern of the wallpaper. Tracey is always very thorough with the Dyson, so I escape to the kitchen, to try a cup of the jasmine oolong tea that Dr Jive recommended and am struck by just how much clutter there is. It is quite a large kitchen with enough space for a dining table, but possibly not two. How long have we had the second one, I wonder? And why? We don’t even eat in the kitchen. It makes it hard to get to the sink. The work surfaces are covered in blenders and toasters, slicers and grinders, squeezers and juicers, coffee machines and waffle makers.
‘Why do we need two microwaves?’ I shout through to Tracey, but she is now cleaning up behind the brocade settee with one of the attachments that came with the new Dyson and she does not hear me.
While looking for the kettle to boil water for my tea, I find a battalion of new kitchen devices, an ice cream maker, a yoghurt maker, a salami slicer. I don’t know what many of the gadgets are. Is this an avocado flesh remover or a fish descaler? The competition for the most useless kitchen device is fierce. The drawers are crammed so full of pea podders, tin openers, knife sharpeners, garlic crushers and mango stoners that I can hardly get them open. I begin to realise that I might have a little trouble persuading Tracey that de-cluttering the home is a remedial imperative. Most days boxes from Amazon arrive, with more prospective chaos and confusion, and some days when I come home from work early, I find a collection of catalogues from couturiers piled up on the mat in the vestibule awaiting Tracey’s approval.
Clearly what I need is a strategy. While I am sipping my soothing cup of jasmine oolong, I weigh up my options. I could start moving things that we do not use up to the loft, except that the loft is already full of things we do not use, and the garage too. I could accidentally cancel the home insurance, disconnect the intruder alarm and arrange a burglary. Too risky. And there would be the guilt and the stress of being found out. I could, of course, come right out with it and say that Dr Jive has given me three months to live if we do not embark on a life laundry.
Tracey comes into the kitchen.
‘How did you get on?’ she asks.
‘Dr Jive says that I have to give up jogging,’ I begin.
‘What! After I bought you that new Le Coq Sportif jogging suit and those Nike trainers. Why’s that?’
She seems to be suffering from post-hoovering tension, so I proceed cautiously. I decide to leave the Einaudi part until later. I picked up The Essential Einaudi from the specialist classical music shop on the High Street, along with a couple of Philip Glass CDs that he recommended. Sadly, Gorecki’s Symphony of Sad Songs was out of stock, but I expect I can download a digital copy.
‘And he thinks we might benefit from living more simply,’ I continue. Including her in those benefiting might help to get her on board with the idea of a life laundry at a later date. ‘And perhaps get a nice painting or two.’
‘It was a doctor you went to see, wasn’t it?’ she says. ‘Not a shaman or an art dealer.’
Tracey puts on her FatFace coat dismissively. ‘I’m going to Dunelm to buy a new lava lamp for the alcove in the study,’ she announces. ‘I might have a look at the sales too. Can you think of anything we need?’
‘Forty litres of moonlight blue silk paint,’ is on the tip of my tongue, but I judge that the moment is not the right one.
It does not matter, because while Tracey is out at the shops, a trip that I judged from past experience of the January sales will take all afternoon, I find some blue paint in the shed. In no time at all, I have done a passable job on the walls of the spare bedroom. Although the room is in estate agents’ terms, compact, I feel it could serve, at least temporarily, as a meditation room. Tracey has been trying to get me to decorate the room for months, and while we have not decided on the colour scheme, I feel she will soon grow to like the calming effect of blue. I am pleased to find that there is sufficient space in the loft to accommodate Tracey’s exercise bicycle, the sunbed, the standard lamp, and the writing desk breaks down quite easily. I then turn my attention to an internet search for the recommended art work. I discover a surprising number of Rothko prints available on eBay so I order several, all of which are enigmatically titled Untitled. I feel better than I have in weeks. I have no headache or nausea or anxiety. My body feels relaxed and my breathing steady. I can hardly wait to try out the Einaudi.
Tracey returns at about six and asks me to help her in with the bags. Accessorize, Blacks, Cargo, Clarks, FatFace, Gap, Holland and Barratt, Homebase Jigsaw, John Lewis, M and S, Russell and Bromley, and White Stuff. But I think, but I may have missed a few.
‘I’m exhausted,’ she says. ‘The shops were a nightmare. I tried phoning you but the number was unavailable. Can I smell paint?’ From her tone, I detect an air of disapproval and can see trouble ahead.
I meet Dream at Transcendental Meditation classes at the community centre. We hit it off right away. We have so much in common. We both adore the music of Einaudi and Gorecki and love Rothko’s paintings, and we are both drawn towards the colour blue. Besides this, we both feel that jogging is pointless and both dislike experimental jazz. Dream says that it sounds as if all the musicians are playing different tunes at different tempos. I agree that this just about sums it up. Dream has also resisted the idea of having a mobile phone or even a landline and does not own a computer or a TV. It is through Dream that I become properly introduced to the concept of minimalism as a lifestyle. Zen is a word she frequently uses.
‘Less is more,’ she is fond of saying. ‘An over-abundance of possessions breeds discontent. I feel free from the worries of acquiring and maintaining things that I don’t really need.’
Dream does not ask me to move in with her immediately, but at the end of February when she finds out I am sleeping in the spare room at home, she suggests it. Since her daughter has been at university, she says, she misses the company and while she is at one with herself as she puts it, she gets lonely. Not that moving in with Dream involves very much on my part. I take a holdall of clothes, a toothbrush, my meditation mat, and a book of Haiku verse. And of course, my small collection of ambient CDs.
The interior of Dream’s house is decorated entirely in shades of blue. Even her Rothko prints are blue. The plan of the house is uncompromisingly minimalist with no bookcases, shelves or chests of drawers. All the hard furniture is built-in and the storage is behind false walls. The house is so tidy, one could be forgiven for thinking that no one has been living there. The bedrooms have foldaway beds. The living room has a blue rug and a solitary vase in one corner with a single artificial blue bloom. The kitchen shows no evidence of its culinary purpose. Even the kettle is tidied away. The only sound one can hear comes from a subtle water feature in the Japanese garden behind the contemplation room.
‘Hidden storage and a sense of order are the key,’ she explains. ‘All clutter is a form of visual distraction. Everything in our vision pulls at our attention at least a little. The less clutter, the less visual stress we have.’
She does not need to convince me, of course. She is preaching to the converted.
Each evening after we have tidied away the wok, we listen to Einaudi in the music room. We sit in silence and let Ludovico’s trance-inducing melodies calm us. Sometimes we give each other massages with essential oils and twice a week make tantric love on the low deco bed. We both share the belief that it is beneficial to have a routine. We still go to Transcendental Meditation classes on a Monday evening. Sri Sri Siri says you can experience the field of silence and bliss and harness the enormous reservoir of energy and intelligence that is deep within all of us. This is exactly what Dream and I are finding too. TM gives us stillness, serenity, and peace of mind. We discuss other approaches to spiritual awakening with our friends, Aura and Echo, who we met at the Monday classes. We find that they go to Tai Chi on a Tuesday, Angel Readings on Wednesday, Crystal Healing on Thursday, and Astral Projection on Friday. We briefly consider joining Aura and Echo for perhaps one of the extra classes but decide that it would be a mistake to allow our social calendar to become too crowded.
One evening, while Dream and I are listening to Dolce Droga, I suggest that we buy a baby grand piano and learn to play. I have seen a second hand Yamaha at a reasonable price, I tell her. From Dream’s reaction, you might think I was suggesting playing an Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers CD.
‘Where would we put it?’ she screams. I can see what she means. It would be a difficult item to hide away.
This is the closest I have seen her to becoming agitated. As a compromise I suggest we might buy a small keyboard instead. She sulks all the way through Giorni Dispari. She is clearly against the idea of anything that takes up surplus space so I do not mention the subject again.
In May, I find I have to go back to the marital home to pick up some important papers. There have been changes. Gary, a soft furnishing salesman Tracey met when she was shopping in the Avarice Retail Park, has moved in. The house now resembles a DFS warehouse, but with all the furniture crowded into about a tenth of the space. The hallway is an obstacle course and the front room barely navigable. I find the clutter deeply upsetting and feel physically sick. I can’t even get into the study to find my papers. Tracey says that she will get Gary to clear some stuff and I can come round again another time. I very nearly stop at The Black Hole Inn on the way home for a Carlsberg Special. Fortunately, the New Age radio station I have taken to listening to while driving puts on a particularly soothing piece by Brian Eno just as I am coming into the car park.
With the arrival of summer, Dream and I make the decision that we will both work part time so we can enjoy the shade of the Japanese garden through the long afternoons. After all our needs are few, it isn’t as if we need the money. Mindfulness is the key. Through the quiet contemplation offered by the garden, we feel we can harmonise the spirit with the essence of all things. We can in the words of the great Ram Dass, Be Here Now.
This works well through June. Listening to the gentle trickling of the water feature we feel calmer and more centred day by day. The heat of July, however, seems to increase my libido and I find myself wanting to make love more frequently. Dream is determined to that we should stick to the routine of Wednesday and Saturday evenings. ‘Breaking routine is not healthy,’ she says. One Wednesday evening she insists that it is too hot for any activity and that she wants us to wait until the heatwave has finished before we resume our passions. I consider trying to remind her of what she said earlier about breaking a routine being unhealthy but I let it go. It is never good to have an argument so late in the day.
A couple of evenings later, I feel the urge to go jogging and ask Dream if she would mind.
‘Jogging,’ she yells. ‘I thought you hated jogging. I suppose you’ll be wanting to listen to experimental jazz next.’
I think it best not to tell her that I have been listening to Mulatu Astatqe and The Heliocentrics in the car.
By way of an apology, I bring Dream a large spray of blue carnations which I hope might heal the rift. She, in turn, apologises for shouting at me. It seems that things are back on an even keel. That afternoon, we sip valerian tea and listen to the soft cascading of the running water in the garden. The occasional fluted warble of a blackbird provides us with music. We cook a nourishing vegan stir-fry in the wok and settle down to listen to Einaudi. Later that evening, I find that the flowers I bought her have been tidied away.
Before my initial visit to Dr Jive, I had suffered from all the classic symptoms of stress and paranoia. I was forever anxious that the phone would ring or worrying that the laptop might have a virus. Was I using the best anti-spyware? Was the firewall up to date? Dream had steered clear of these things. She wouldn’t even have known what a firewall was or how to send a text message. At home, Tracey and I were always on the go and there was no space. It seemed that we forever waiting for a service engineer to come for one of the electrical items that had gone wrong, or choosing this item from a new range in a catalogue or sending an item back that had been wrongly described at Amazon. The hedges needed clipping or the lawns needed mowing. The house insurance needed updating or the one of the cars’ MOTs was due. The HD TV needed retuning because there were fresh channels or we had to go shopping because there was a new coffee jug in House of Fraser. Life was too short for all of this nonsense.
Since my initial de-cluttering and the very first meditation classes, I have been able to think more clearly. Even my early experiences of Einaudi and Rothko in the blue room brought about a positive change in my thought patterns. I have fallen in easily with Dream’s obsession with harmony and things being in their proper place.
‘Be empty, be still. Watch everything. Just come and go.’ is a favourite piece of Zen wisdom of hers. With this as my mantra, I have found living in her space calming. I feel safe. I like order and tidiness.
But now and again, I have this nagging feeling that we are missing out on something. Maybe just once in a while, it would be nice to listen to some music that has words. Or occasionally, see what was on Netflix. Is there any room for growth with the unremitting stasis of a strict routine and everything in place? Perhaps there is no need to have everything apart from the Rothko prints hidden away out of sight. The incident with the flowers has made me realise that too much is being hidden. Not just around the house, but on a personal level too. There are too many secrets. Perhaps in the months we have been together, Dream might have opened up a little about her background and her life before we met. What, for instance, has become of her daughter who has gone off to university? She never talks about her and there are no signs of her around the house. I do not even know her name and Dream has never once mentioned the father. Admittedly I do not talk a great deal about my past, about Tracey, or for that matter Lucy or anyone else before Lucy. And of course, I have no children. But considering all the diving within that we have been doing, it does seem bizarre that so little about Dream’s past has surfaced. If the relationship is going to continue to work, I have to find a way of bringing things out into the open.
An opportunity arises the next day. I have just finished raking the gravel in the garden into its wave pattern and Dream has just brought out the Tibetan tea on a flower tray. I decide to try a gentle enquiry.
‘What is your favourite childhood memory?’ I ask.
Dream looks at me as if I have just rapped her around the head with a rifle butt….. After I have cleared up the broken cup, I go to find her in the meditation room. By then, she has stopped crying. I put my arms around her and she responds by putting her arms around me and we stay this way for some time.
‘I’m sorry for my outburst,’ she says, finally. ‘Things have just been getting on top of me lately.
I have been wondering for a little while if we might benefit from a holiday. Something to take us out of ourselves. I recall that Dr Jive singing the praises of Mundesley, a quiet backwater in North Norfolk with spectacular views and miles of deserted sands. He goes there every year and describes it as the perfect place to relax and be in the present moment. As I massage Dream’s shoulders, I suggest it. I tell her about Mundesley’s blue flag beach, its rural location, the bordering fields, and its proximity to the picturesque village of Trunch. To my great surprise, she says that she will think about it.
When I get home from work a few days later, Dream tells me she has been to the doctors. She has never mentioned going to a doctor before and, given her views, I assumed that she had always avoided medical practitioners, preferring instead new age remedies to tackle ailments. I wonder momentarily if she might be pregnant. This might explain her recent mood swings. How would I feel about being a father? I’m not sure. First thoughts are that the wheels on the bus going round and round would put substantial pressure on our minimalist lifestyle.
‘I’ve never told you this but there’s a history in my family of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,’ Dream says. ‘So I phoned for an appointment with Dr Straight at the local practice, but he is on paternity leave, so they gave me an appointment with Dr Jive. He’s a new doctor, I think. Quite young with green hair. Anyway, he was very understanding and once I had given some background details, he told me that I had nothing to worry about. My behaviour is perfectly normal, exemplary in fact. Rituals are healthy and to be encouraged and that my life sounds very harmonious. He was pleased to hear that I did not overdo the exercise or go jogging.’
I decide there is nothing to be gained by telling her about my earlier visit to Dr Jive.
‘He approves of Einaudi,’ she continues. ‘In fact, he lent me a new CD. And he feels it is good that I am a vegan. But he told me to be careful of red peppers and red cabbage.’
‘Which we don’t eat anyway,’ I say.
‘He suggests I might need a holiday, a change being as good as a rest. He said he knows just the place and you’d never guess where he goes every year.’
‘No,’ I lie. ‘I probably wouldn’t be able to guess.’
‘Go on! Guess!’ she prompts.
‘All right, The Turks and Caicos.’ I say. It is good to see that she is being playful. The meditative life can be a little intense at times.
‘Now you’re being facetious. Dr Jive goes to Mundesley,’ she beams excitedly. ‘He takes Mrs Jive and the little Jives there each year for a two week break. He describes it as a quiet backwater with spectacular views and miles of deserted sands. He says he thinks I would enjoy it there. He says that there is a meditation centre nearby and a Reiki practitioner in the village. So, I think we should go. This is synchronicity, don’t you see.’
I agree that it is an astonishing coincidence.
‘How did you hear about Mundesley?’ she asks.
I am prepared for this. ‘My parents used to take me to Cromer,’ I lie. ‘Just a few miles up the coast.’
I go on the internet at the library and do a search on Mundesley to make sure that it is going to be quiet enough for us at the end of September. We wouldn’t want to end of in one of those seaside places where you get gangs of disorderly grebos or inadvertently find ourselves in the midst of a seal clubbing weekend. I discover little of any note happens in Mundesley after the end of the summer holidays. All of the accommodation in the area appears to be vacant and I have no trouble in finding us a small cottage in between Mundesley and Trunch with a super-king sized double bed and a French window which opens out onto the patio. It does not have a TV or a telephone I am told by Margery Gedge when I enquire. And it is, she confides, a long way from a shop, so we would need to bring provisions. It sounds perfect.
The cottage is pretty much as it was described, compact but offering peace and quiet in beautiful scenery. Tranquil and secluded were the favoured terms in the brochure Mrs Gedge sent. The cottage is built of Norfolk flint and has a small flagged patio with a cherry tree. The rooms are small but quite tidy. Even so, Dream manages to find a few items that need putting away, kitsch ornaments, pictures of boats, and the rubber plant. There is enough room under the stairs for most of the unsightly bric-a-brac, but the glass fronted bookcase with its collection of Richard Osman and Sophie Kinsella paperbacks does not fit and she has to cover it with a throw. Mrs Gedge is one of those old-fashioned seaside landladies who has a visitors’ book, and looking through it, we notice the cottage has been occupied infrequently over the summer months. Among the comments is one from a Tracey and Gary, saying, kitchen poorly equipped, no cappuccino machine and only one microwave. We are briefly taken aback but reading on we notice that this pair are from Essex, so it must be a different Tracey and Gary.
Sadly there is no CD player to play the Debussy CD I bought Dream for her birthday. Although Debussy is a bit of a departure for her, she seems happy with the present, and she has even read the cover notes about the composer and the pentatonic scale. Having no meditation music in the evening worries Dream a little at first, but we just cannot face the thought of going to Cromer to buy a player. Cromer would be bustling with fractious shoppers and unruly day trippers, probably a pensioners coach trip or two, and nowhere to park. Instead, we listen to the silence and gaze at the blue Rothko painting we’ve brought along.
Avant-garde jazz is not something that I expected to find much of in North Norfolk, but on Monday when we are in the store in a nearby village to buy rice and vegetables, I notice a flyer in the window for JazzNorfolk. An experimental jazz workshop with Kieran Jive is taking place at the Overstrand Parish Hall at 10.30 on Thursday. I wonder briefly if Kieran is related to the good doctor, but he is probably not. Jive is quite a common surname in North Norfolk. The poster blends in with the rest of the ads in the window so I do not think that Dream notices it. I don’t draw her attention to it.
Before we came away, I had been playing Groove Collective in the car and realised how much I had missed the edgy unpredictability of contemporary jazz. I have not told Dream of course, but I have managed to introduce Erik Satie into our small repertoire and had slipped in a Ravel piano piece one evening. Even so, there is perhaps a long way to go before she stops thinking of radical artists like Groove Collective as the devil’s music.
We fall into a daily ritual of a morning walk along Mundesley’s endless stretches of beach, our bare feet sinking in the soft sand. Apart from the occasional dog walker, most days we have the beach to ourselves. Dream seems particularly relaxed on the walks and once or twice begins to open up about her past. I discover her daughter’s name was Gaia. She went off to university in Vancouver and is living close to Dream’s ex-partner, Gideon. Gaia has not replied to any of her letters for nearly a year. Dream finds this upsetting, which is why she has never mentioned it to me. While it is encouraging that Dream has started to confide in me, each time I try to dig deeper she clams up. I am only able to find out snippets of information. She once owned a Coventry Eagle bicycle and liked to go cycling in the country. She was a girl guide young leader and had been good at netball. But I still do not know where she grew up or if her parents are alive. This does not bother me I realise as much as it should. I wondered if Dream’s apparent lack of baggage was not part of the initial attraction. She had no past for me to wrestle with.
As the week goes by, I find myself wanting to go to the experimental jazz workshop more and more. It is so tempting. An opportunity too good to miss. Overstrand is just a mile or two up the coast. The late-night improvisation sessions after hours at Ronnie Scott’s all those years ago go through my head. All you had to do was take along an instrument and you could join in and play some avant-garde jazz. I used to take along my bass clarinet. I was not very good but that didn’t seem to matter. None of the musicians at these sessions would be playing in tune anyway. This was the heyday of free jazz with its contrapuntal tempos, polyrhythmic drumming, honking saxophones, washboards, bass clarinets and muted trumpets. You might get a band made up of two basses, violin, and kazoo. Someone came along one time with a conch shell into which he’d drilled a mouthpiece and played a cracking duet with someone else on musical saw. I remember a composition of mine for slide guitar, clarinet and garden strimmer. My favourite unusual improvised instrument from those sessions was Ronnie Scott’s floor polisher. We had the blues player, Big Bill Broonzy on floor polisher one time with Memphis Slim on hatstand.
All Tuesday and Wednesday, I try to think of a way that I might be able to slip out for a few hours to go to the workshop. Dream and I do everything together so she is unlikely to go off on her own to the hairdressers or the shops for the day as Tracey might have done. I wonder if I might go on an errand to get some runny honey or some Greek yoghurt and pretend that the car has broken down in Overstrand and that I am waiting for the AA to come. Not that I have a phone to call the AA, or any means to let Dream know.
I could perhaps say, ‘I’m going out to buy you a surprise birthday present.’
Or what about a sudden toothache and the nearest dentist would be in Cromer?
I could, of course, come right out with it, say I am going to the workshop, and face the consequences.
On Thursday morning, we are pacing briskly along Mundesley beach, bright and early. The wind has turned round to the east and it feels bitterly cold. It is nearly ten o’clock.
‘Not a day for being outside,’ the lone dog walker on the beach called. ‘Come on Tarquin!’
A dishevelled schnauzer stops sniffing the clump of seaweed that has been detaining it and moves on to inspect a piece of driftwood. Dream and I agree that on a day like this we ought to be indoors and draw our coats around us in a demonstrative shiver.
‘Wind’s coming in off the North Sea,’ the dog walker shouts back. ‘It’ll be raining cats and dogs by midday. You mark my words. …. Leave it, Tarquin!’
We feel a few spots of rain. We quicken our pace until we are almost jogging.
Out of the blue, Dream says, ‘I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we go along to that experimental jazz workshop in Overstrand?’
Copyright © Chris Green 2023: All rights reserved
An much earlier version of this story on this site has the title Be Here Now