• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 10

The month of Columbus

August, named after the Roman emperor of course, one of the men who caused Cleopatra’s pain and she ceased to reign. Humidity and holiday, the last month of the summer, six weeks soon gone. Childhood memories of far off beaches, a bucket and spade, a cramped caravan, then back home. Plastic toy soldiers in the back garden, many still remain buried beneath the rockery like so many lost souls on the beaches in Normandy. But unlike them their souls never were and their bodies will always remain.

A t-shirt and a jacket ‘just in case’, the weather a blend of stifling heat and showers. Dark cloud materialises from nowhere, the threat of thunder, like an unexploded bomb, then in a moment... gone. August is a time of memories, some sweet, some lost in nostalgia, was it really that good? Was Margate worth the train journey? I remember when Bermuda shorts were all the craze and we were glad there were no more school days for a while. Then the dread of ‘back to school’, the adverts on the telly, stationery, the new uniform, pencil case.

Summers long ago, dandelion and burdock fizzy pop, pretending to be Huckleberry Finn, a toy Bowie knife, with a little imagination substitutes for the real thing and long grass where insects hide. Climbing over the garden fence to spend time with a friend and playing hide & seek at night amid shooting stars.

Summers are short, the weather is mixed, it’s a pity these things cannot be fixed, plans thwarted. Young Queens have left the nest to relocate, lay down the foundations of a new state, a hive, a colony.


The month of Columbus

Journey, travel, and to be seen, marriage, newlyweds make vows to one another in the August sunshine. A family move home for the umpteenth time, parks crowded. A coach pulls over to the side of the road, full of day trippers, glancing out the window, could be anywhere, which town is this driver?

Packing, unpacking, movement, dancing, drinking, adventure, new places, day trips, discovery, a long walk. August should be named after that great adventurer Christopher Columbus. The month of Columbus.