Up north and working for a new client, one I feel so happy about. At the desk I studied for my high school exams, the window is open and the branches scratch on the sky. From downstairs, I can hear the sound of a bass guitar.
Before work, I walk around the river each day. It is early and there is the rush of the river, the rain from the day before and the morning sunshine. It is good to run up here, with the long straight flat wind pushing half my side. I bump into Kerry off to the Post Office, I see Luke’s Dad out in his bike and a family friend waves though their window as I go past.
In Newcastle one evening with the girls and the light in the city is golden. Up Northumberland Street, busy with shoppers and charity fundraisers, I smile at a friend from the village and recognise him once we have passed other. I want to go back and say hello. In a bar near the station – high ceilings and catching up on lives and things that have changed, laughing about the things we always laugh about.
I visit my grandpa in the care home. He is sitting by the window watching the wind shake the trees silently outside.Grey eyes, the iris soft and swimming in the optic.“You’re my number one” he tells me and I say the same back.
Afterwards Dad and I walk on the beach in the late afternoon sunlight. The moon is pale and pink, high, translucent. There are barks of dogs and we retrace our footprints back on the wet sand, talking about family and work and life. The windows of the train glint on the hills and we see the far-off swing of the 508 bus to town.
This weekend back in London, Laura is in the city and we walk over the Common on Sunday. It is dusk and the sudden early summer warmth is settling, cooling. People who have been stretched out on the grass are walking back with bags and baskets and, looking back, the grass is empty and cold and burning red.