December Reflections 1: here I am

A sandy beach at low tide on a sunny day. The sea is a narrow blue strip in the distance. The photographer's shadow stretches a long way across the beach in the low winter sun.

Well, there I was. That was quarter to eleven and I was on the Isle of Wight, and now it’s quarter to three and I’m with in Hertfordshire or Cambridgeshire. The latter, I’m pretty sure. Things move on.

I’ve spent a lot of this year travelling back and forth between Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Wight, helping to sort out my father’s house, spending time with my family. Sometimes I’ve stopped in London to do a day’s work on the way. Other times I’ve dog-legged lazily through West Sussex for the pleasure of seeing Arundel and avoiding the Tube. Usually I’ve taken the hovercraft over the water, more for the (slightly) more convenient timetable than for the amusement of pretending that I’m in some sixties vision of the future.

The Isle of Wight is pretty unstable, geologically speaking. A month of rain hasn’t helped matters. And there is always somebody digging up the roads on top of that. On the bus from Ryde to Ventnor on Monday night we stopped at no fewer than four sets of temporary traffic lights. It might have been five. Not counting the entirety of Ryde bus station being dug up, too. It was generally cold and damp and miserable. Today, though, the sun came out and the whole thing was really ridiculously beautiful again.

But here I am, in transit, on my way home, passing through three former home towns along the way (and it looks very misty in all of them: we’ve just got to Cambridge). There’s still a lot that needs doing in Ventnor. Plenty more trips to come next year.

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