The last few days in London, working late with the prospect of finishing and Christmas and the north. I run over the river and the lights flick white white white in my eyes. People are carrying shopping bags and couples photograph with the river and the city behind.
We have a work lunch and there is the laughter of the boys, the white of the cloth, the gleaming circles of glass. The lines of fork tines, voices at the other tables, the backs of the waitresses.
At night, the train passes through unknown cities until it is cold in Central Station. On the Metro there are football shirts from the match in the city.
Back in the village there is a carol concert in the church with draughts of freezing air, the smell of candle wax and boiling radiator clanking hot pipes. On Christmas Eve we walk over the bridge to the Langleys. The lights are on and we know that there is a party inside. The sound of the river water beneath the stone. There is a tree on the bridge hung with baubles and bells that shiver in the breeze as we pass by.