‘Autoglum’ said Rob and I agreed, we were waiting for the bus in a chilly lack-light. It was, I thought a word to recall Saturday when light defined every tree and charms of goldfinches feasted and flitted on salt-marsh thistles. On Saturday we saw blackberries glot and scarlet hips and haws, and geese fly in neat formation before falling gawkily, as if they hadn’t practised that bit yet. They tumbled into the Dee; the water swallowed the sky and shone it back like an upstairs television through a window.


The word I thought, fondly remembered Sunday and the beechnuts warmed by old-jar-honey sun. It is different now on Monday. There is no weather, no clarity, the trees are not defined they are waiting. There is a without-ness of light and a portent of moss. Autoglum seems a good word to express anxiety that the tomatoes might get blighty. But Rob didn’t mean that, he was just reading the coffee mug on the dashboard of a parked van – Auto Glym (for all your polishing needs).