This post has been so long in the making that I have actually forgotten what I wanted to say. Here it is, anyway. And, erm, sorry for the over-a-month-long delay. I will get better at posting one day. You’ll see. Until then, thank god for RSS and/or patient readers.

Or, too many things to celebrate:

  1. Seeing Rose Melberg — and seeing Ian see Rose Melberg. You don’t get that look of awe and wonder on people older than five nearly enough these days.
  2. Bean-and-tuna salads, good crisps, Alexander McCall Smith books and late evening train rides to the West Country.
  3. And light falling almost horizontally on the fields of Wiltshire making everything look green and golden.
  4. And the world suddenly looking like a better place.
  5. Seeing Rose Melberg again, this time on a soft, warm Oxfordshire night, in a smelly, dirty Oxfordshire pub which played some sort of metal on the radio downstairs — the sort of place where I could have sworn nothing magical ever happens.
  6. Midday train rides to the West Country, with fluffy white clouds and bright blue skies and bright green hills and fluffy white sheep.
  7. Ten years of twee bedroom sadness, in the form of the Sinister mailing list, which, once upon a time, changed my life.
  8. The picnic to mark this occasion, which was very much like Sinister Picnics Of Yore used to be: weird at first, fun after a while, wonderful by the end.
  9. Tales of Jenny songs performed live at said picnic, and me running off (sort of) in the middle of a conversation to listen to them.
  10. And Pines’ songs, of course. (Always Pines’ songs. Even though I missed the best one by walking down the hill to the toilet.)
  11. And Visitors songs, too, under the tree, with Tim taking drags off his cigarette between verses, looking all shy and I-wasn’t-ready-to-do-this-guys.
  12. And staying out alive till the last of the sun.
  13. And the view from the top of Primrose Hill, with the moon rising on one side and the sun setting on the either.
  14. Kris‘s writing about it all, which nearly made me cry.
  15. The realisation that all this was so wonderful mostly due to people I met after I stopped going to picnics.
  16. The realisation which follows from the one above: that I’ve not only grown out of Sinister but into it as well.
  17. The fact that this somehow seemed highly significant at the time. It said something about my inner world’s local coherence.
  18. Staying up after the picnic in Tim’s living room, with the window half-open and April Dreams England on the cd-player.
  19. And the moment we both started singing along to ‘Service station’, so effortless and sweet.
  20. Kind London friends who invite us over to their colourful flat and cook us lunchon a Sunday when we are sleepy and hungry and poor and outside it is sweaty and hot.
  21. The last train of the day to the West Country, even though it was too cold and you couldn’t to see a thing out of the window past Didcot (and there’s not much point in looking out of the window before that).
  22. A year of Puffin-and-Daisy in England — or, rather, in Devon, our place of sea winds and low rolling hills and wide open skies, for which we have fallen completely.
  23. Celebrating said year with organic food and pop friends who have also been transplanted to the West Country, some a long time ago and others even more recently than us.
  24. The Taunton skyline out of Rob’s window, of trees and a church tower against a darkening sky.
  25. The last train… only kidding. It wasn’t much fun this time.
  26. The release (finally!) of the Occasional Flickers record, about which I will have to write more one of these days.

Or, in other words: the end of a summer that, just before its end, turned out to be rather lovely after all.