Solstice eclipse

Half gone 7.12am the Blockhouse, -3.5C.

Cold start, 6.30am. The Corsa slips into place by a tree. A few dark inches of pavement by the wall, where the sun has caught the ice: I dance along, gently, pressed forward by the heavy air. My boots crack the thick snow/ice steps to the Blockhouse. Hand over glove along the railings, I slide up to the playground, and freeze in the uterine chill.

Across the city from what was Mount Pleasant: a soft hiss of steam rising from the dockyard sheds, light clanks and rattlings, the dark terraced hillside of Keyham and Ford, then beyond to the red spots of the telecoms mast.

Just past halfway, the lit moon is a breeched foetus facing south left, caged in rust.

Peach glow in the east, squeaks of unseen small birds. Crunching dog walkers, tuk-tuk blackbirds, coarse stereo seagulls, clicking magpies. The eclipsed moon dips into a dull grey mist rising from the Hamoaze.