Sunday, 11 November 2012

4.00pm - Sunday afternoon

The sun is shining, but the wind is cool and the dead oak leaves rattle in the wind. The sky is ablaze with fiery red and orange cloud patterns as I set off for a late afternoon ride. I wonder if this might be the last of the bright golden sunlight. Just one more brilliant, motionless sunset and then crash, the next morning a huge rolling grey sky, manoeuvring itself overhead like a great big lorry come to deliver the winter. There's a sharp stiffness in the breeze as the last of the leaves tumble and my thoughts turn from the salad bowl to the stock-pot.

It felt good to be out again - my first ride for over a week. I thought I was moving well but I felt my breathing was tight and laboured - the bike was rolling along at about 18mph when it happened - he came swiftly and silently from out of the sun - dressed all in black, crouching low over the bars - he said nothing and then he was gone. I made a half-hearted attempt to keep up but it was a pathetic effort - I felt weak and useless as he powered off towards to the horizon, while I wheezed slowly along. My fitness is shot to bits and I feel annoyed.

The darkness came suddenly. It was still dusky on top of the hill outside Snarestone, but as black as black by the time I was in amongst the trees at the bottom of the road just minutes later. My ears were sharpened. There were new noises: caterwauling and cooing, hooting and barking.

A home is never more of a home than when it's wet and windy, dark and dirty out. The house looks so pretty during the long nights, warm light glowing in the windows. I do like candle light - soft and pretty. The past must have been beautifully lit. All these new light bulbs are so lab-like, clinical, Christmas will never be the same.

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