The start of the week and I was north on Newton beach, running towards Embleton bay with my parents walking behind. They are two figures, one in a navy coat and she, shorter, in red. As I round the edge into the bay the thin flap of my jacket whips tk tk tk in the wind. Along the beach streams of water caught in the tideline stream back to the sea.
My grandpa Trods with his cool hands in mine, small soft green eyes. The thread wool pull of his sweater.
Back in London there is a pale January afternoon drizzle over the clock tower and the red brick of St Pancras. Being at Kings Cross makes me smile.
I cycle to work along familiar roads that are quieter than usual. Perhaps people are still on their Christmas break and I know that it won’t last for long. Fabs and I go to the gallery and look at each other bemused, give up and go to the pub – red wine, her hand in mine.
One of my closest friends visits me from America. The last time we were together was two years ago in Kenya, on a tarmac road with packed bags and hot tears behind my eyes. The taxi slid away bumping over potholes and shimmering in the African sun. But here she is, with Laura and Gabi, in freezing London air – blue skies, scarves, linked arms. The roll of the Heath, the shape of pint glasses, market stalls and coffee bowls, talk of Lamu and open windows and Indian sea.