#tuesdayuseitinasentence:Where’s the dirt?

Harbourside, boats and painted houses

Image: Pixabay


Sara barely recognises her old home.

Or rather, she recognises only crumbs amid the feast: the curve of the dockside railway tracks; how the old bonded warehouses cut grey squares from a blue sky. But the place has donned its Sunday best, been buffed until it shimmers and dominating her harbour are whippy ice cream vans scrawled with cartoon cats, dimly glowing restaurants and a cinema that shows moving pictures in languages she doesn’t recognise.

Frederick rests a hand in the small of her back. ‘How do you find it?’

She gazes across the water, towards the steam cranes, leggy silhouettes that perform their jerky, pointless ballet to entertain visitors.

‘Where’s the dirt?’ she says. Where is the smog and puff of steam engines, the crush and bawl of dockers unloading bales of tobacco and cinnamom logs, rolling higgledy barrels of sherry? The thrilling promise of more. ‘I hate it.’

It’s the people she dislikes the most: the locals rapt in their music players, always looking down; the tourists stumbling blindly, pointing their image makers at nothing, recording but never seeing. Where are her sailors with their tales of willing women and vengeful oceans, their songs, their brawls, the stink of brine and sweat and pipe smoke?

‘The water,’ she says, staring into the churning brown slick below. ‘It’s the only thing that hasn’t changed.’

‘And us,’ he says, grasping her hand.

And she knows she’ll leave and never return.



Written for Stephanie at Word Adventure’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Take the word – today it’s HARBOUR – and use it in a post on a Tuesday. See here to join the fun.


12 thoughts on “#tuesdayuseitinasentence:Where’s the dirt?

  1. I don’t know who she is but somehow I can relate. This is how I felt when I first returned to my grandparents’ place years after they sold it. I’d grown up in their garden, among fruit trees and roses. It was all gone. Now remain only the memories of what it once was. And thankfully photos… But I hate what it is now and haven’t returned since that one drive past the house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I might have had this problem a few times today – had some interesting messages through – though not before, weirdly. Thank you for your lovely comment and thanks very much for reading 🙂


  2. Fabulous! Such wonderful, rich description; I feel like I’m there. Not just the sights and sounds and smells, but her emotions too. So poignant, finding your home changed like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – lovely comments 🙂 If it was Tom Wolfe, he was absolutely right. Never, ever do it to yourself. It’s too painful to see somewhere change so much. Thanks for reading 🙂


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