I needed a new bag. I was embarking on the next chapter and it’s alway good to begin afresh with a new bag. In a small provincial town in Southern Ireland you don’t get much choice, so I bought a sports holdall from Kavanaghs (where I bought every pair of runners, spikes and tracksuits I’d ever owned as a child.)
Packed my clothes and a couple of books, said goodbye to my mam and dad when Jim came to the door. This was it, our final pint together as I headed for the UK and new opportunities. We were quite as we walked. “Are you OK about this?” he said! “OK as I’ll ever be!” my reply. There were times when we intuitively knew that silence was called for and this was one of them.
Chatting freely in our local pub over a pint, but with a backdrop of nervous anticipation, we waited for that time when the bus would arrive. “Go on! I’ll grab this” and Jim lifted my bag, crossed the road and handing it over to the bus driver to be thrown in the hold. The big man wrapped his arms around me, “Take care of your self will ye!”. I nodded, boarded to be greeted by the sickly sweet stale smell of sweaty feet and old vomit and made my way to the back seat. As the bus pulled off I looked the back and waved a couple of times at the man I considered my best friend. I was fighting with myself even at that point reasoning the rights and wrongs of this choice. Settling in my seat I took my mind to the mountain. Visualising it’s vista’s, hues and it’s musty fragrance was my default distraction tactic when I needed to dumb down my emotions.
This was it, I was fulfilling my promise to myself, I would amount to more than what was expected of me, I would step out and step up!
I sometimes wonder about that choice, on that day. What if I had decided to stay, to settle! What path would life have taken? But settled is not comfortable for me, I’ve always needed to see around the next corner. Metaphorically, I’ve been taking the bus all my life and enjoying the landscape of my journey in anticipation of what awaits me around the corners.
Weather is incredible for this time of year in Blighty so we’re camping on the broads in Norfolk not far from A tiny market town called Swaffham. Exploring the country side we found a quaint water garden!
It’s a welcome break from the heat in the shade of some beautiful canopy’s. We happened on a deer in the undergrowth which was a complete surprise, no kingfisher though!
Finished with coffee, ice cream and cake.
I love it down her by the river when it’s still on a summers evening. You can get lost for awhile in your thoughts, distracted only by the odd rhythmic rattling from a distant passing motor boat, the background conversation of passerby’s and heavy steps and breathing of a sweaty jogger.
The air smells and tastes different at this time of day. There’s a waft of honeysuckle on a faint ebbing breeze balanced by the musky estuary mud.
I find I’m presented with that still moment that I lavish in… just before the midges arrive to feast.
It’s inevitable that at my time in life I loose people I once considered friends. In life we connect, live a little and move on. We always remember fondly those shared moments.
Sadness like a wave hits me when I see the post that a person who forms my history has passed. It’s bitter sweet in that I feel pain but have the mixed pleasure of shared memories.
I hold them in my thoughts and mourn their passing, I take a Jameson’s and drink to the connection, the memories made and the laughter. I think of my childhood friends and smile at the knowing of people who helped shape me.
I’ve always been a fan of street art as you’ve probable noticed! I always take the time to study and capture for prosperity, sharing and later study!
I’ve tried to impart my art history eye to my kids with numerous conversations about what statement, social comment the painter might be trying to make or convey to us as observers. It hasn’t worked yet but I’m waiting for the questions and discussions that the threshold moment will bring with it!
I lay on scorched grass immersed in the must of day giving way to night. Light loses to the dark except for the distant glow of encroaching orange and the odd beacons on a country road that flood our field in headlights, mechanical sound disturbing the natural as it ebbs and flows to the distance leaving us once more in quite breathing.
There we lay silent in time watched over by the dark and the diamonds. In this moment I close my eyes, withdraw my senses, willing lost, sinking.
Your whisper cradels me from the thought. Do you love me? Aware only of your face in shadow, I can hear the echos of always before uttering yes. Contented you take your place in the nape intoxicating with sweet perfume, tenderness of lips and the labor of breathing. And just as day has succumb to the dark, I am found and left longing.
It’s been on of those weeks where we see the depth and breadth of our humanity and inhumanity. The atmosphere on the train into London was palpable, somber and reflective on Monday.
It was evident that we were all touched by the events of last weekend at London bridge and Burough market and the accumulative effect of Manchester and Westminster.
We all struggle with our emotions at these time, anger, sadness and condolence for those families on both side who have had futures taken from them. Those who will no longer see their loved ones and live with the consequence of the madness of a skewed ideology.
Violence historically has never worked. When will we learn it’s always a last resort. It’s time to reason with the unreasonable.
Imagine a society where nothing’s worth dying for, no religion and the only faith we had was in each other’s compassion, respect and desire to work towards a greater good.
So after about 2yr and 8mts I’m back on the train into the city. Slightly different these days as cycling from home on my Bickerton fold up. Well for the summer and autum for the moment as I can’t see myself do’in that in the depths of winter when it’s pissing down with rain, roads flooded and cold. A fair weather rider I’ll be!
The image is a view of UEL from the Sir Steve Redgrave bridge in east London. There’s something about having lunch by the river in the sunshine. The only certainty is that is wont last the British weather being what it is!
I’m waiting for my cafetière to boil and I’m already feeling the pre race flutters… and I’m not even running! It’s been that way all my life, the anticipation of competition.
This year as in previous yrs I’ll be managing a team of Student Sports Therapists providing post event massage for runners of the Mental Health Foundation. This will be my third and final year with them as I move to pastures new.
I’m always touched by the stories of runners and their journeys to the marathon and motivation to support this charity. It’s a privilege to be part of this event and I have a great deal of admiration for all those who contribute. Having trained for and run 3 marathons I under the personal sacrifice necessary to take on this challenge.
I love this part of the river. It full of movement and the landscape is stagnant but changing at the same time. I’m not here as frequently these days, but I was a daily dog walker here. You don’t tend to pay to much attention to the details when your a local and spend a lot of time in a place.
It’s only when you return infrequently that you notice the major changes and appreciate the unchanging. I suppose some parallels with life and friendships could be drawn here. Enjoy the photo.