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The Mirror Window

13 Oct

The houses in the street where I live were built in the 1920s. Before that, the ground on which they stand was the point where countryside met town. Distant echoes of the rural past may be heard by those who listen to them. A solitary farmstead still stands at the end of the road, surrounded by suburban houses. At the end of my garden there’s a ditch where the brook used to run, long ago diverted underground to supply the local houses with water. Beyond the ditch lies an allotment site. All of this suits me very well. Brought up on the edge of town, I’ve never been able to decide whether I prefer the countryside or the city.

The first time that I walked through the door into the dining room of the empty house, I knew that I belonged there. It felt as though I’d already been living there for years. The view through the window drew me. It looked out toward the garden and the allotments beyond. Standing there, I could have been looking out at the open countryside. I signed the papers and moved in. It was some months before I found out about the mirror window. Would I have moved in if I’d known? On enchanted afternoons, the portal appears on the other side of the room. I’m drawn to that window too. An ancient farmstead used to stand here, demolished a century or so ago to make way for the new houses. The window appears for a reason. I know that I could open it if I wished to. What would you do?

The portal

The mirror window appears

All text and images © PSR 2015

Visitation III

27 Sep

When the aliens come, they’ll irradiate us in our homes. In England, we’ll be able to tell because the chimney pots will glow.

It all depends how you see things...

It all depends how you see things…

Or maybe it’s just a beautiful sunset. It all depends how you see things…

All text and images © PSR 2015

Visitation II

31 Aug

The same wood, a remote spot in Northern Europe… The craft were there again. A stranger appeared and asked if she might help. I said that she could. She explained about the craft. I turned to look and they had gone.



Still, it’s cheaper than a babysitter.

All text and images © PSR 2015


12 Apr

I’ve just got back from a restful and productive week at the writing den. Although technically I’m an alien there, the perpetual visitor, I feel no less at home than in ‘my own’ country. I’m beginning to pull together the strings of Work-in-Progress No. 1 and a completed piece of sorts is emerging. And I finished at last the Martian Amis book that I was reading.

This time, I visited in the company of my two children. We have a favourite picnic spot, by the side of a lake with woodland walks. On the penultimate day of our stay, we ate our baguettes and cheese then set off into the woods. My son was the first to spot them. Subliminally, on the periphery of my vision, I thought that I saw something too. I had with me only my rather poor camera phone. The sunlight was streaming through the gaps between the trees and I couldn’t see the screen as I captured the images. Until I got home, I wasn’t convinced that I’d taken pictures of anything at all.


After the initial shock, the brightness of the colours was the most surprising thing. In film, they’re almost always presented as monochrome, made from some silver-coloured alloy or finished in black or white. As we approached to inspect them, they would drift away from us, always slightly out of focus. No matter how my daughter chased after those shapes, she never came any closer to them.

What were they, then? The big tops of some pan-galactic circus? The mobile homes of a race of interplanetary nomads? The cities of a sylvan people? I’m not sure we’ll ever know.


I lost site of my children for some minutes. When they returned, they seemed changed somehow. They were angelic, immaculately behaved, their hair even more blond, their eyes greener… Perhaps, during that lost moment, they were taken on-board those beautiful ships.


On our way home, in the gathering darkness, listening to Radiohead’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’, we passed a cottage, located close to the writing den. I noticed that a window was open although all the lights were out. I pulled over and peered in through that window. The interior had been ransacked. There was no sign of the owner. Had he been visited too, then? Perhaps there is some point in the universe where it will always be 18:07 and 26 seconds, earth time.


And now that I’m home again, I feel that I’ve changed somehow too. I couldn’t say how for sure. All I do know is that I can’t wait for the next visit.

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All text and images © PSR 2015