Bits and pieces
I was taking my time. Every walk at the moment has the weight and importance of a 'last time'.
An elderly man shuffled past, moving fast. His tracksuit drooped about his spindly thighs and hips, slung low enough to be dangerous. It was threadbare in places, with patches of beige showing through - which I hope was his underwear. The legs were too long and had frayed to a long and daggy fringe.
Across his bottom was one word.
There is a white horse on the same walk. He (undoubtedly) is always parked in the same place, beside a man with a big fruit stand. He is a beautiful horse - in good condition, firmly muscled and rounded, and pulls a cart that is a patchwork of pattern and paint - bright triangled in red and white and black and green and yellow. Every day as I pass he is turned in his traces, untethered, and his fodder is piled high and bright green on the surface of the cart he pulls. He is always eating, and he never seems to try to wander away.
We went out last night to a coffee shop with a singer. I love this place - and there will soon be a whole blog on it. Last night though, I was fascinated by the singer. The sound system must have been set to maximum echo - so the blasting words rang into the room long after he lowered the microphone from his mouth. "Habiby" - which roughly translates as 'my darling' and is the mainstay of all Arabic songs as far I I can see - became 'Hab b b biby y y by by by".
I realised how useful this was as he saw that we were there and rushed over to greet Ibrahim.
He was in the middle of a series of 'habibys' and one long note was sung straight into Ibrahim's ear as the singer wrapped the microphone around Ibrahim's neck to make sure the audience missed nothing. He lowered it with time to greet us with a few words before the last throbbing notes died away, and then took it up again. It is obviously useful to have echoes long enough to have twenty second conversations between them!