Friday 23 July 2010

Queue here for an autograph/The Long Way Round/Home alone

This is the first photo I have ever sold commercially - the Moscow underground. It may not be a work of art, but it will be a double page spread in the next issue of Railway Terminal World. Don't snigger. I realise that this is fodder for 'Have I got news for you', but I'm pleased nonetheless. Please pat me on the back...I may yet become the new David Bailley.

Last night I felt like Moses...sort of - you'll have to work with me on this one. I left the office at normal time in brilliant sun and heat...the English summer is lasting more than its traditional single day...but having been warned by The Cat that there was a downpour at home. I dressed in my waterproofs as I sat astride my motorbike, and everyone gave me the strangest of looks. It remained perfectly dry and sunny until I left the A12 where I could see it had been raining but was pretty much dry now. As I rode along, the roads gradually got damper and damper - looking up I could see the blackest of rain clouds in the sky ahead...but they kept retreating. By the time I got to The Castle at Woodford Green, the roads were flooded and water was bubbling up from the drains, further down the hill the water was several inches deep. As I headed down the hill from Buckhurst Hill to Loughton, there was literally a three foot fountain of water coming out of one drain. I took the back roads, the long way round, in Loughton as the High Street had come to a grinding halt. But having weaved my way through yet another traffic jam, my path was nearly blocked by a flood...I decided to ride through it: revs high, keeping steady. The water come up to and over my boots! I made it through, and feel I may be ready for some off-roading now...but I didn't get rained on at all, as the clouds and rain just kept retreating before me.

I hadn't really appreciated until this week what an enormous presence The Boy is. Naturally it's quieter when he's not around, but I'm used to that. But he returned from Army camp on Monday with the force of a hurricane, causing noise, disruption and chaos in the few hours before he disappeared off on his German exchange. He didn't stop talking from the moment I saw him until the moment he left again at 5.15 in the morning. He hugged me goodbye in front of all his brave is that for a fifteen year-old boy? It was exhausting, exhilarating, and all-consuming. He seems to have captured the essence of life and just exudes a presence and charisma that's quite astonishing and overwhelming. So his current absence is unusually difficult.

Today The Cat and The Cat's Mum have gone off to New York for a week...they used to live in the US, so will be catching up with old friends, old pastures.

I'm left behind, working in the office as usual.

It'll be a quiet week indeed.

I'm not used to being home alone any more.