Hurricanes and Earthquakes

Sunday 10th September

Whether the flurry of hurricanes, typhoons and devastating monsoon rains of the last few weeks is anything to do with Global Warming is almost impossible to prove.  There are arguments that warmer sea temperatures allow more evaporation and so heavier clouds, and that warmer land means that hurricanes do not move so swiftly but continue dumping gallons of rain on the same bit of coast.  Of course, there are many who argue that even if there is Global Warming it is not because of Human Activity but more likely to be Sun-spots or a natural waxing and waning of the Earth’s temperature.

Only time may tell.  I am fairly sure that the mass industrialisation, which started in Eighteenth Century England, is a contributing cause, and that the continuing burning of fossil fuels cannot be doing any good at all.

But there have always been Hurricanes.  And Earthquakes too.  And Volcanoes erupting, which scientists now believe was the main cause for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

All we do know really is that mankind is pretty puny compared to these natural events.  Houses crumble like matchsticks, cars and boats are lifted and deposited in a jumble like a child’s uncared-for toybox.  The human suffering is unimaginable.  I have experienced a home flood caused by a burst pipe and that was bad enough.  To be completely deluged and under rivers of mud, to lose everything, not only your possessions but the very roof over your head must be appalling.  We can only help them to mop up, and rebuild and, sadly, wait for the next hurricane.  At least with hurricanes there is usually a few days warning.  With earthquakes’ there is very little if any warning.  People living along the earthquake fault lines know that they can strike at any time.

And the stupid question pops up, why do people choose to live in these places?  The answer is that for most there is no choice at all.  Billionaires like Richard Branson can choose to have a home on a Carribean island and visit it when he likes.  But for many it is simply where they were born, or in the case of most – where their ancestors were transported a couple of hundred years ago.

And like those ancestors they have no choice but to ride out the storm.

Wisdom Teeth

Saturday 9th September

Firstly I didn’t realise that I had much wisdom at all – though this blog purports to express opinion as some sort of Wisdom.  A few weeks ago a tooth broke.  I think it was already broken anyway and another bit chipped off.  Anyway raggedy edge or not I ignored it (as you do) thinking that as I had no pain there was no gain to be had from going a la dentist.  Sooner or later I did have some pain, but not directly from that tooth.  In fact I had an abcess on a different tooth, so off to Madame Brun I went.  She gave me a prescription for the abcess and proceeded to look at the broken tooth.  She X-rayed it and soon discovered that in fact the base of that tooth (a Wisdom) was infected and she suspected that two semi-buried stumps on the other side were also probably infected too.

I was sent for a panoramic x-ray in Bergerac and an appointment with a Dental Surgeon too.  Well, yes indeed my lower Wisdom teeth, or what remained of them were infected and would have to be removed.

I turned up on Thursday afternoon, slightly worried, but realising that I had no real choice.  The actual extraction, under local anaesthetic took about thirty minutes and the stitching about the same time.  I was sent home with strict instructions about what and when to eat and oral hygiene and anti-biotics and painkillers.

Well, as we all know it isn’t when you fall it hurts – only when you land.  And so too with Dentistry.  I felt no pain during the procedure though I did keep my eyes shut – I really didn’t want to see the size of the industrial drills and wrenches and pliers he was using.  But of course as the anaesthetic wore off the pain wore on.

Thursday night was pretty bad, exacerbated by the sorest of sore throats.  Every swallow was like razor blades.  Not sure how I slept the first night.  Friday was a bit better, the sore throat had improved but I had a monster of a headache. So far no real pain from the gums but a dull ache as if I had had a sock in the jaw from a horse or an angry husband (hahaha).

So, a bit of an invalid am I today.  Slowly getting better.  I still have another less problematic tooth to be extracted in a month’s time.  Like the hero you would expect me to be I opted for the worst side of my mouth first – the two half submerged teeth.  The dentist assures me that next time will be easier.  With two thirds less wisdom I have believed him.  So expect less wisdom for a month from me and after the second extraction none at all….


Friday 9th September

I have always daydreamed.  In fact, although I must dream at night, these aren’t what I remember.  They are like a different existence altogether – not really me, or not me in control anyway, half the time I am running away or in situations I don’t recognise, have never been in and certainly have no desire to be in.  And when they sing about dreams, ‘follow your dreams’ or ‘seek out the girl of your dreams’, I am sure they mean daydreams not nightdreams.

I can remember being told off at school for daydreaming.  I could hear the teacher’s voice droning on, and I was sort of listening to it, but at the same time I was a million miles away.  And even now I find myself daydreaming, sometimes in company, when someone is talking to me even, I am only half-listening.  I am thinking of something else entirely.  Even as I heard the swish of the cane I was daydreaning of running around in the fields.   At work I used to think that they (the bosses) had my body for eight hours a day, but they never came close to having my mind.  I was, and still am, quite capable of performing routine tasks such as data input and daydreaming at the very same time.  In fact, it is only daydreaming that has kept me sane.  And believe me, the orison, the edge where you fall over into madness has always been far too close.

And I think that that is why I am a writer, or rather why I write at all.  It is my comfort zone, familiar territory, the world of the imagination is far more real to me than the world I find myself living in.  One of my favourite songs is “If you could read my mind” by Gordon Lightfoot.  That is exactly how I feel a lot of the time.

Of course daydreams are much like night dreams in that they dissolve like the morning mist in a few seconds.  But they, at least, are of my own creation.  I feel that my daydreams are my own, my own secret world I live in, whole vistas of possibility exist, I can be anything I want, unrestricted by age or body or previous failures.  So, parents and teachers, if you see a child obviously away in their own world, don’t tell them off, don’t stop them.  The world of the imagination is an essential part of us, for without imagination we would have to be forced to accept the world as it is dumped on us.  Without daydreaming nothing would ever change.

Children and Technology

Thursday 7th September

I have nine grandchildren – so far.  The first three are all young adults now.  They grew up with TV and computers around but apart from a mild obsession with Playstation games they don’t seem to have been too affected by modern technology.  They are, as is almost everyone nowadays (yes, even us oldies) fairly computer savvy, used to using the internet and social media but not obsessed by it.  The younger five (one is still a baby, so can be excused) though, seem to me to be pretty obsessed by computers, i-pads and especially mobile phones.  They range from ages 4 to 8 and since they were quite young have been fascinated by this new technology.

But looking around they are by no means unique.  You see it on buses and in restaurants – young children, some barely able to walk staring at a screen and swiping and pressing buttons.  To some degree we are all obsessed.  Even the news is now presented as a computer screen (Outside Source), and tweets from mad Presidents are given more creedence than measured speeches.  We all watch less TV and spend more time on Social Media.  And it is fantastic.  Unimaginable even a few years ago; you post a photo and in seconds you have likes and smiley faces back from people, some of whom you barely know at all.

But young children just accept these things as normal, as just a different toy really.  Maybe we shouldn’t be concerned.  I am sure our parents were worried about our obsession with television – I certainly tried to ration it with my son.  It is the motivation of parents I worry about more.  I have heard parents say that they give their very young children the i-pad or their phone to keep them quiet.  Maybe this is no worse than sitting them in front of the tv, or as I used to, sticking my son in his playpen with a few toys while I prepared the dinner.  But I do worry sometimes, there is already some evidence that children using the internet regularly do not remember things.  They don’t need to because the computer does it for them.

I suppose that only time will tell.  And there may be far more to worry about then; we may all be microchipped, or have screen-lenses fitted into our eyes.  Technology will not stop or slow down, we just have to learn how to use it sensibly.


Wednesday 6th September

“I don’t believe you.  I simply don’t believe you.  June, have you gone out of your mind?  What are you trying to tell me?”

“I’m telling you that I have been unfaithful Phil.  I have been having an affair, well not even that, but definitely I have been seeing Ted.  For a long time now.  Harriet caught us this afternoon, and it’s all over now.  I am so relieved it is all over, I am just so sorry you had to find out like this Phil.  Do you want a cup of tea?”

“A cup of tea?” he said incredulously. “What on earth good will a cup of tea do?”

‘I don’t know.’ she was crying now, crying for the rotten mess she had landed them all in. ‘Nothing would ever put things right, she knew that.’ She didn’t know if she was crying for Phil or for herself, or out of shame or guilt or relief.  Maybe she was just feeling self-pity, maybe that was all it was, but she couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down her face.

‘Maybe that cup of tea might not be such a bad idea after all.’ Phil muttered as he went out to the kitchen and June could hear him banging the cups and saucers around and slamming the kettle on to the hob.  At least he was getting angry now, she thought, at least now it’s beginning to sink in.

*  * *

Well it did turn all out to be true, despite Jane’s disbelief, and it tore the family apart.  Harriet and she walked home in stunned silence, and as they turned into their drive they saw Uncle Ted’s battered old Triumph Herald in the drive and knew that the storm was about to break.   The girls were sent, or more correctly, asked politely, to go upstairs to our rooms, by their father, who was white as a sheet and looked quite ghastly.

As they sat upstairs and Harriet half-reluctantly told Jane of the afternoon’s events they could hear the raised voices downstairs, but mostly what affected them both was the amount of crying they could hear; Aunt Julie, obviously, and their mother, but worst of all their father, who had never cried at anytime in front of them, was really crying loudly and shouting and banging things around for ages.

That evening seemed to go on forever, and Jane cannot remember how it ended, they never got their dinner that night she dis remember, and about two in the morning Jane was half woken by a car, presumably Uncle Ted and Aunt Julie’s, driving away.  Strange to think of them like that, but they had always been just that – Uncle Ted and Aunt Julie, as solid as the house they lived in. Impregnable, impossible to imagine them apart, but then they had been apart for years, or apart enough for Ted to have carried on seeing her mother all these years. Was his marriage as much of a sham as their parent’s had been all of these years, or had they both, her mother and Uncle Ted managed to somehow compartmentalise their sordid little affair, somehow put it in a box that they only opened when an assignation was approaching, or did they think about each other all the time, fantasising about each other even when they were making love with their spouses.  So Jane’e thoughts rambled on as she tried to sleep.

The next morning their mother sat them down, and despite Harriet’s occasional sarcastic barbs, told the girls what they had decided to do.

W – is for Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds

Tuesday 5th September

The Seventies were the time of Prog-Rock and Concept Albums.  Many bands tried to combine Classical and Modern Instruments, probably the most successful were Barclay James Harvest and The Moody Blues and Jethro Tull.  But in 1978 a little known American composer, Jeff Wayne, released “The War of the Worlds”.  This was the concept album to beat all concept albums.  Based on H.G. Wells book written in the early years of the Twentieth Century before any Space Exploration at all.  It was and remains a phenomenal success.  Narrated by Richard Burton it is largely instrumental with a handful of songs.  A stellar cast of Justin Hayward, Julie Covington, David Essex and Phil Lynott sang the songs.  The whole double album was Symphonic in it’s construction with repeating motifs and a great mix of electric and orchestral instruments.

Listening again recently it sounds a bit dated now to my ears, but it was certainly a favourite back in the Seventies.  It has sold over two million copies in the UK alone and was a huge hit worldwide.  There can be few people over fifty who have never heard it.  Jeff Wayne hardly composed anything comparable after  – a few TV themes and Commercials.  But he has toured the album for years with various different singers.  The album has been re-released and expanded and even re-recorded with a new cast in, 2002 I think.

It seems that ‘War of the Worlds’ has a life far exceeding any ambitions H G Wells may have had for it.

Memories of Stowmarket – First Schools

Monday 4th September

My first school was the infants school, off Walnut Tree Walk, just behind the rec.  I seem to remember that this was a modern building back in the mid-fifties.  The head was Miss Tweddle.  But memory is a funny thing, and I cannot really remember much about this first school or the teachers.  I do remember that we had a story read to us every afternoon, and we were allowed to play with toys on a Friday afternoon. My mum says that I surprised the teachers by having a nap every afternoon, which practice I wish I had continued ever since.

Junior school was what is now known as Chiltern Community Primary School, another new building but I cannot remember what it was called when I went there.  But I do remember spending some time in an old Edwardian school building opposite the infant school.  The lane connecting the two was known colloquially as ‘dogshit alley’ for obvious reasons.  The boy’s toilet was an open-air enclosure in the playground and there was a six-foot wall separating the urinals from the alley.  Our favourite game was to see who could pee over this wall onto unsuspecting passers-by.  One of my teachers was Mrs. Griffiths and the head was Mr. Brooks.  Another teacher, who I disliked was Mrs Drinkwater.  Once she humiliated a boy whose nose was running and he had no hankie.  He was made to stand on a chair at the front of class while all of us laughed as snot ran down his face.  I only realised later how cruel this was.

I think I was quite well-behaved at this time – at least at school.  I cannot remember ever being told off by the head, although we often had a ruler across the knuckles by the teachers.   I also remember one girl who used to pull her knickers down in the playground and show us her bum.  This was exciting, but back then I never knew why – I have been enlightened since and the excitement is still there…just.

One day, with no warning whatsoever the whole of the fourth year were held back after assembly and sat down at desks for an examination.  This was the 11 plus.  Mr. Brooks told us to fill in our papers just as he had written on the blackboard.  At least one boy wrote “Joe Bloggs, 1 Brick Lane”.  Luckily, I was obsessed back then with a TV quiz called “Pit Your Wits” presented I think by Kenneth Kendall, which had word and number games.  I even had the book and used to love working out these conundrums.  The paper was full of similar brain-teasers designed by the boffins at the Ministry of Education to sift the wheat from the chaff.  Chaff though I undoubtedly was I somehow passed.  My parents were even called in by the head as it was such a surprise that I was one of the six out of about 60 who passed.

When I eventually got to talk to other kids who had gone to private schools I learnt that they had all been crammed with mock 11 plus papers for weeks and almost their whole classes passed.  We had no preparation at all.   So it was that the education authorities back in 1962 made sure the right kids got to Grammar school while observing the letter if not the spirit of the Education Act.

Consideration for Others

Sunday 3rd September

I am constantly amazed at the viciousness, the bile, the sheer nastiness of people.  Especially, but not exclusively, on the internet.  It is as if the internet gives you immunity, no-one can see you, no way of identifying, of pointing you out in the crowd.  I am sure that face to face these people wouldn’t dare use such language. A couple of days ago someone wrote that they had had an altercation with a woman with green hair, it was slightly amusing and more bemused than angry.  But the comments this attracted were just plain nasty.  “I would have called her a …..”, “the stupid…..” etc.  And mind you, these commentators had never seen the incident, never met the woman, maybe had never actually met the original blogger – but they sure as hell hated this woman.

Now, as you know I am quite Political, and have never hidden my views, but I keep getting posts on Facebook describing Theresa May as “Evil Bitch” or Tory M.P.s as “Fookin Bastards”.  Where does this hatred come from?  I do not like Mrs. May’s Politics.  I think she is making a bad situation over Brexit even worse, I think she has an awful manner and appears unsympathetic, even when she is trying to be the opposite.  But….I do not hate her.  I don’t think she is evil, or is deliberately trying to hurt the poor or disabled.  I understand exactly where she and her Policies are coming from, I can follow but do not agree with the logic.  And I don’t think those policies will work, they will only make things worse.  But I don’t think it helps in any way to call her names.  In fact, it simply points up one’s own ignorance.  Politics is already pretty disrespected, and this megaphone dialogue doesn’t help.  Also, we should understand that Mrs. May and in fact all the Politicians are doing what they consider their best.  They are only human.  They are the same as you and I.  And, we have all been in discussions when we hear “Why don’t they simply…”.  Well, there are no simple solutions.  It must be incredibly hard to get things right in Politics, almost every policy will result in unintended consequences and need constant revision and correction.

So, where does all this vile denigration come from.  It is I am afraid, a complete lack of consideration for others.  We see it every day, people who bully to get their own way, who assume they are more important than others.  In fact, people who don’t consider others at all in their actions.  It is a selfishness that doesn’t even consider others worthy of existing.

So, please stop it.  Amend your language.  Criticise by all means; put your arguments strongly, but do not revert to sexist or abusive language about people you do not agree with, or even know.  This is one of the lessons which Jeremy Corbyn has tried to change Politics with (with not much success I must admit).   Have a little consideration for other.  It really isn’t that hard to do.

W – is for Roger Waters

Saturday 2nd September

Is there life after Pink Floyd?  Well, whatever you think of Roger Waters, and I have mixed feelings myself, he is still out there touring and releasing the occasional album.  I have seen him (or more accurately, a video screen, and a tiny dot on a faraway stage) a couple of times; once when he toured ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and then recently ‘The Wall’.  Both concerts were brilliant, superbly played by capable musicians and sung well by Roger.  The visuals were incredible, especially for ‘The Wall’.  But I ask myself, is a career really valid when you are re-playing whole albums live of possibly the greatest band of the Seventies?  Not that I am complaining – the real band (or what is left of it) doesn’t play anymore and the last record of out-takes was pretty dire.  But strangely, for one who so publicly fell out with them, he does seem to trade on his former glories rather a lot.  There have been numerous live DVDs and albums too – the only one worth having I thought was the live concert in Berlin when that wall came down.

But Roger has released a small handful of records, four in fact, of new material.  While in Pink, he was increasingly angry – about the War, which killed his father, about Thatcher, about Dictators and the pressure of being a ‘pop star’ – and just about anything else you could think of.  And his solo records are much the same.  I enjoyed ‘The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking’ and ‘Radio Chaos’ – some great tunes and they were almost like new Floyd records.  But I was not much amused by ‘Amused to Death’, a bit too bleak for me.  His latest ‘Is This The Life We Really Want’ is blatantly political.  Much to agree with the lyrics, but I am not so impressed by the record.  Too samey, a bit too shouty, as if Roger is singing through a megaphone.  Preaching to the Converted, springs to mind.  But at least he is still going, while his former band-mates rest on their very well padded laurels and re-issue countless box-sets of out-takes and demos of their brilliant run of Seventies albums.  I suppose it is all valid in its way…but I wonder what Syd would have thought of it all.

The Darkness Of Night (a short story)

Friday 1st September

The darkness of night is my comforter, a cloak I wrap around me, a winding sheet, a cowl, a shawl, a balaclava, a hood to hide my eyes, a shield against the harshness of day, a shroud of blackest black, a place to see and not be seen, a sanctuary – my very own cold and damp and stark-bare prison cell.  In short….it is the place I feel happiest, where I am truly at home.  Contentment seeps into my bones as the sun sinks down.  When the last faint streaks of red or gold or purple fade from the sky and inky indigo descends like a heavy felt curtain and the trees become vague hulks, branches witches’ fingers and as more and more light seeps out of the sky all is black, delicious darkness, bleak blank sweet night.  The darkness of night shepherds me in to its sheltering harbour, my place of refuge from the turmoil of existence.  Inside this web of darkness, I can finally relax and become one, surrounded and finally absorbed into the very black soul of darkest night.

I like to walk in the darkness.  I drive my car far out into the countryside, off the motorways’ yellow sodium glare, on to side roads and down unlit country lanes, or better still a farm track, the car bumping and swinging me from side to side as together we ride the ruts.  I park up and douse my lights, the engine begins to cool.  I sit for a while and think.  I contemplate my existence; my chosen, but lonely life.  My shunning of all friendships, all connections.  I had children once, but they are long grown, vanished into the world – where they belong.  They are no longer a part of me – I want, and make no contact.  I have moved many times, houses, flats, a cottage once, and now a tiny bedsit in the darkest loneliest place I could find – London.  Here, it might as well be darkness all day long.  Nobody notices me, I am practically invisible.  Not that I go out much, I like to stay safe, nested inside my four small walls.  Even my neighbours ignore me.  The man at the corner shop shows no recognition as I buy my cigarettes and bread and milk.

The engine is cold now.  I reach into my pocket and seek the comfort of the little square box.  Cellophane removed, I flip the lid and slide out a cigarette.  My thumb rolls over the wheel and the lighter’s flame momentarily illuminates the car’s bland interior.  I draw in quickly, and as soon as the tip glows red I snuff the light and am back alone with my old friend – darkness.  I open the car door silently, fearful of waking anyone, or alerting them to my presence.  I leave the comfort of the car and walk up the rest of the farm track.  I haven’t been here before.  I always try to choose a different place, a new location.  Each night a strange road, a diverging track, an original adventure.  And believe me, these nightly journeys are my adventures, the only ones I have.  They are what I live for, they are my only interest in life.  I simply crave the excitement, the thrill, the adrenalin rush – as nightly I fulfil my desires.

It is dark, blacker than black.  No moon at all tonight – and cloudy, so not even the faintest glimmer of starlight.  My feet are my only guide.  I can feel the hard track beneath my feet.  But slowly, and I have discovered this fact, even in the darkest of nights, moonless and overcast, after a few minutes you begin to see something.  It may just be the merest imagining of a horizon, the suggestion of trees, a whisper of a hint of a building.  Your eyes adjust to even this almost total lack of light.  And then, suddenly, as if by magic – real light.  The faint orangey-yellow glow of human habitation.

A farmhouse, I suspect.  Just one light on downstairs and the curtains drawn, but enough light seeps through the weave of the drapes to show me the outline of a window.  I kneel down and remove my shoes, carefully tie the laces together and hang them round my neck.  The rough ground and stones bite through my thin socks but these pricks of pain, this hobbling of my old feet are part of the thrill.  Going through real discomfort makes the whole thing somehow worthwhile.  Almost on tip-toe I gently place one socked foot in front of the other.  I am most wary of dogs.  Farmers almost all have dogs – and they have very acute hearing, so I slowly transfer my weight from one foot to another and breathe shallow, quick, but silent breaths.  I must be fifty yards away but still I am cautious.  I stop and wait and watch and listen.  I am very good at watching.  I have learnt to watch.  Watching is my thing.  I like to observe, to see people and not be seen.  And that is why I love the darkness, it gives me cover.  It is a cloak for my activities, a shield for what I am about to do.

I wait and wait, and when I am sure that the dogs are sleeping I slowly creep to the window.  I crouch beneath the sill and breathe in the smells, the minute sounds, the essence of human life.  The TV, with its monotonous chorus of voices, the newsreader reciting the day’s deaths, the political stories that everyone will instantly forget, the earthquakes and bombs in far-off lands.  I do not own a television.  I have no desire to be connected in any way to the world, real or imagined.  Above the televisual hum I hear the occasional murmur as someone gets up and suggests a cup of tea.  Who in my life ever makes me a cup of tea?  Who in my life have I to make tea for?  So, this is what it is like to be a person, to be normal.  The gentle hand on the shoulder, the smile as the tea is handed over or received.

No-one touches me.  Ever.  I cut my own hair, what little of it is left, and I shun Doctors above all others.  I cannot abide the thought of hands upon my body.  There was a time when I was loved.  Or women said they did – for money, or security, or simply to re-assure themselves…maybe in the hope of some reciprocation.  But love like everything else is gone from me now.  I couldn’t bear to be loved – to have that cloying net of affection draped over my shoulders again, it makes me shudder.

But still I listen at the window.  I crouch in the cold and the rain and the mud and wait as I hear these ordinary and unpretentious people heave themselves out of the armchair’s embrace, switch the lights and tv off and wend their way to bed.  Still I wait and listen, the occasional bang of a door, or a tap being turned on, the water making the old pipes clang, the groan of the springs and the murmured night-nights.  I crouch and wait for maybe an hour until I am sure they are sound asleep, then I fumble my way back to my car.

You may think that was boring, but you weren’t there, crouching and listening to real lives, feeling the warmth ordinary people have for each other.  And for me, to be no part of all that, the watcher, the listener, the exiled outsider, the silent observer – you have no idea how exciting that is.

I finally get back to the car.  I light another cigarette, slip my shoes back on and think about what I have done.  Even though they were totally unaware of my being so close that I could almost reach out and touch them – I was invading their lives, I was intruding on their privacy, I was sharing the un-shareable closeness of their lives.  And sometimes I have even been able to see through the cracks in the curtains, watching as they go about their mundane existence.  Ah… see and remain unseen, to know that they cannot possibly know I am there.

Oh, I am no pervert, please don’t think that of me.  Sexual desire died in me log ago.  Once, a woman started to undress right in my line of vision.  I was shocked, I got up and ran from the house, dogs barking, husband shouting “Who’s there?”.  I ran barefoot, slipping and slithering on the muddy ground. I could hear the dogs yelping behind me, almost feel their rancid breath on the back of my neck.  I nearly missed the car in my blind panic, terrified of being caught; I revved the engine and drove like a madman all the way home.

I was scared most of all, of being misunderstood.  For none of you can possibly understand what it is to be the outsider, the stranger in this strange land, the un-welcome guest who is never invited in from the cold.

And only the night can share my feelings, the cold and dark may possibly begin to understand, the wind howling in the tree-tops may only just come close to knowing how I feel.

And so, I wait patiently in my bedsit, waiting for the evening light to fail, for the sun to disappear, for the moon to slip behind the clouds, waiting once again for the darkness, the darkness of night.