“It’s a dangerous business, going out of your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to…” (JRR Tolkien/Bilbo Baggins)
Well… I’ve just made a rather large change. As of today, I will be a full-time nomad and will be spending even more time travelling for shoots than I do already. Obviously, it’s an exciting thing but right now, today (and I’ve been up since 5am), I’m feeling a bit… I’m not sure really.
I rarely post fiction work, but thought I’d share this with you, as it was the first thing I wrote, sitting in Luton Airport, after realising that I could no longer stay in the city I’ve been living in ever since I was eighteen.
“…she enjoyed the anonymity of the airport- the uniformity and the table companions who could have been speaking in tongues for all she knew. It was unashamedly ugly, and a welcome escape, for home was beautiful, bright, adorned with bunting and filigree. Hell, even the graffitti was aethetically pleasing! She wondered how it was that such a lovely place as Norwich could be lacking something, and whatever the ‘something’ was, it made her lonely enough to check the mirror each morning to make sure she was not slowly losing colour. Turning beige. Or grey.
And the guilt nagged too. Berlin couldn’t help but remind her that a city could have worse problems than ‘a lack of something’ but still the last time she had felt part of something was back there, with a birthday girl, a drunk au-pair and a man nicknamed ‘Eggs’, for no apparent reason.
Alone and with nothing better to do than debate, debate she began. Norwich was in no way soulless- she could see it in the very stones. The cathedral spire felt like an old friend, the resident peregrines like children. The secret garden full of an old eccentric’s gothic trinkets held mysteries to be observed not unravelled. It was an artist’s paradise, and she noted with pride (and more than a little glee) that the chain galleries and generic print shops never lasted more than a few months here. No. The city had a soul- what it lacked lay within it’s inhabitants. Or rather, it didn’t. That was the problem.
When she felt sad and lonely, she would paint and draw on anything within reach. A long time ago- and she couldn’t remember it herself- her mother had caught her with arms covered in inky vines, flowers and birds. The designs trailed across her left arm up to the shoulder and she was clumsily covering her right, wrong-handed.
“What are you doing??” her mother had shrieked. “Are you going to sea??”
“If I don’t do something else, I’m afraid I may cut my heart out!” she had responded with great passion.
Such melodrama her mother remembered fondly, lifting her from the hard stone chair. That was before either knew about the affinity. She was only six at the time and hadn’t the words to explain. The mason who had made the chair with his own hands had suffered from a profound heartache. She never knew what became of him, only the pain with which he made the chair, with his strong callused hands. Now, away from the sweet trance of childhood, she was more than capable of making her heartaches of her own. Still, her habit of decorating remained and as she thought of Nortwich, with its painted alleys, its sculptures and its knitted covers for everything from the trees to the lamp posts, she couldn’t help but wonder if the people splashing their colours all over the city were also masking a loneliness. She didn’t know whether or not to feel glad.
Not that she was entirely devoid of friends, and one of two of them were even human. Ignus wasn’t one of them. He was a little harder to reach than most, but she didn’t see distance as a problem. When one wished to spend time with another, one set aside the time, didn’t one? Not so in Norwich, she mused. Distance was spoken of in the same tone as one might say ‘I’d love to visit, but they live in the sky and I have no wings.’ That excuse would be mostly acceptable and she smiled at her own whimsy as she hurdled her way over the brittle scrub of Autumn toward the squat shape on the horizon.
“Leave then,” it shouted at her in a dark granite voice. Ignus wasn’t known for constructing elaborate sentences when a single word or two would do. Like the cathedral, the cobbles and the city itself, Ignus could have been there since time began, and he would stay however much he complained about it. Most of it was for show. A personality that he had have discovered somewhere, and one that stuck to him like a thistlehead…”
So there you go. Change ahead, and if you’d like to know when I’m available for booking in your area, keep checking back HERE for my most up-to-date calendar. If your location isn’t listed, get in touch and let’s see what I can do!
Wish me luck,