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Trip to Saffron Walden

I spy you from across Paddington Station, try to surprise you, unsuccessfully. You always made the journey North: time to return the favour. How much to tell you, to update you with? Skidding over past months like an inexperienced jet-skier (stop me if I’m talking too much – how many times have I said that…) We slash past familiar stations: Bishops’s this, Garden City that. I catch a glimpse of his spindly limbs – an unexpected bumping-into. Wonder how they’re still together? So poles apart… what’s their secret? I thought this area was meant to be flatter (your dad tells me we’re in Essex, actually. It’s getting greener, at least). We cross a busy road, look out across the opposite field. Hang on, let’s be quiet for a second. Don’t sigh! Just… look, you see that? How the wind blows through those green fields (too green, photoshop-perfect green). I wonder if heaven could ever be like this, or if I’m just imagining that scene from Gladiator that always makes Dad cry. I think about summer memories – how they resurface, sepia-toned, through the frozen cracks of winter – and wonder how we can soak all of this in, creating that life and food for future years. I can only be so present behind this viewfinder, but these photos are the true harvest of that day: a memento snatched from the wreckage, something tangible rescued from the void.

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