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Rainsplashed in the bandstand. Mean greyskies close in, reduce the size of the panorama. Silver aftermath begins. What is that thing obscured? The almost-fully-tall Shard, and its big friends nearer the City. This early-Jan fills the bones with a chill. But I sense a proper ‘year’ in formative hush-eagerness. A slow build-up. Anticipation all wrapped up, clandestine behind the double-glazing, muffled by wooden layers, squashed by duffles. A low-tone excitement – building, yet understated. Pre-memories. Tableside lamps all small-suns like buttery fire-scorches, more brighter, yet more brighter in response to the encroaching scowling graniteclouds. Curtains twitching. Hands shielded from the surprise blasts, with the group in the vulnerable spot here on the hill. Paper kept out of the way of the erratic wind-blown rainwater. Close-knit spellbound groups. Spreading slowly, weaving in definite patterns, making shapes. Then little games to freshen the mind and shake the Christmas cobwebs off. Indented waters. No one is really awake yet – Loughborough Junc feels empty. Then we switch to Camberwell off-beat streets, dampened by mid-month SAD torpor, and nothingness screams into existence, and most inhabitants drift in the central-heated rooms behind the curtains. Or soon enough their limbs emerge into the sparse park, spontaneously. Where is the big year? Is it time yet? Serenely quiet here, despite the dankness. The expectation dwells in veiled passageways, and it is also apparent in the air. After the stretches on the mound by the high-rises, we wind further to pick off another stage before the incendiary caress, and the warmness begins to pick up: there are Tunnock’s in the gallery and moments to reflect.

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© Copyright 2017 John Maher