All of the tube and train advertisements have been pulled. Each carriage stark naked, as the economy tanks and businesses scramble to compress fiscal haemorrhaging.
On Wednesday MR picked up 50 rolls of processed film from as far back as March 2018. Nightly, we have made our way through a chunk of the contact sheets – each grabbing one and following the frames from top left to bottom right, rotating the sheet as necessary. The studious silence is broken occasionally with ‘oh yeh, this’, ‘this one is great’, ‘where is this??!’. On reaching sheets end we swap. Read becomes unread becomes read. The stack is in no given order, transporting us from London to The Lakes to New York to Uluru, back to London, to Sydney, to Paris. After exhausting our memory store, we start packing.
In a kind of temporal tumble turn we’re projected into the past and then launched into an unknown future.
As I turned home on my regular loop walk this morning, I took up the invitation of a park bench drenched in sunshine and the soothing sonics of a nearby fountain. Eyes closed, ears full, it dawned on me that this was the first time I’d paused and truly rested in the last month.
Fixed to the bench a small brass plaque reads:
In memory of Pearl and Jack Attfield who lived in Lee Green and enjoyed this park for over 70 years.
In a month we’ll be gone from this place that has made a comfortable home for five years. I’m grateful that a modern lifetime isn’t confined to a sub 10km radius, but amidst the instability of this life on the move, I need more pauses.
Note to self: Sunshine is the cure (A lesson learned late in life – being raised in The Sunshine State, oblivious to the fact that sunshine wasn’t a given.)
The weekends are slow. The hay fever is oppressive. When evening settles and all but the birds have turned in we watch films in bed – recently, Wadjda (2012) and Big Night (1996).
This jasmine crop has been a source of comfort lately. MR and I, individually or together, walk past it every day, sucking its perfume deep into our lungs and occasionally rehoming a sprig.