I spent the early part of the afternoon after my paper sitting on some concrete steps in a shopping centre, nibbling a taiyaki ice cream. The place was cavernous, deep-based and high-ceilinged, with a gaping entranceway sealed with a screen of rain.
A fantastic lightning storm was going on outside by the time I decided to head home. On the way to the train platform I stopped to look over the canal, with its gushing torrents of brown water. I watched a bottle get stuck, hitting against the slope of the channel repeatedly before finally being washed rapidly downstream. A yellow construction worker’s hat came by, floating like an overturned turtle shell, slowly sinking beneath the surface as water splashed over its edges. And that’s life, I thought to myself. I took in a deep breath as a cool breeze blew in my face.
Getting off the train, I walked by the street to the bus stop, feeling the white spray against my ankles and my face, like a million tiny crystallized butterfly souls. Reflected in the rain were the vague colours of quiet and disquiet, the orange of windows and the reds and greens of traffic. I imagined behind its screen a thousand butterflies hiding sleepily in secret places – Little gems of confidence, roosting quietly in every corner.
And I’m homebound for Christmas. This last week passed so quickly, yet so many moments were jammed into it. In between Christmas meals and Christmas outings we made rushed trips to supermarkets and down Oxford street to gather together all the 1823624 items on our shopping lists, and played tetris trying to fit all the boxes and tins into our luggage.
Mess and stress
Bye girls. Be good. And fight the dustbunnies!
Thanks to the help of a lot of kind strangers, I managed to navigate my tumbling 31kg monster of a luggage through the Saturday crowds on the tube and survived a service disruption. Except, I dropped my luggage on my toe. Once.
At Heathrow, we took selfies and exchanged well wishes over facebook and whatsapp. Some were spoken, some unspoken. Have a good Christmas. Rest well. Don’t forget to come back. We still have a long way to go together.
Snapshots of December
I’ll miss everyone. It’s been a crazy December in London, but I’ve had so many lovely moments.
Waiting for our monster of a luggage to emerge
The 12 hours in the plane passed smoothly, and we were home.
I feel like I’ve come through a time machine. An apprehensive time traveler. Everything is familiar, yet as I walk through my house and my city, it feels as though I’m watching through a glass wall as a past version of myself sees and feels. The black and white stage of memory.
Also, my parents bought a new camera. So this will (hopefully) be the last time you see such bad pictures. But to be fair, my iphone has tried very hard over these past few weeks, bearing with all my verbal abuse and all my poking and jabbing at its old screen. Good job, old friend.