We tell ghost stories on the way home. It’s dark; Port Meadow is black, the river is silver and still. We have bike lights and a parafin lantern. A mist covers the ground, as if we’re wading through it. I can see my breath, feel the tingle of my fingers.
Earlier we walked the other direction. It was early afternoon, light, grey, the trees bent over the water. The dog picked up impractical sticks and we sipped from a small bottle of whiskey. Amazing how quickly we could be palpably outside the city. Smelling woodsmoke from narrowboats and surrounded by green and brown; the golden stones of Oxford had dissolved, the spires dissapeared behind a puffy cloud. My wellies rubbed raw a spot on my foot, the same spot on the same foot that had been rubbed raw so many times before. We came to a crumbling nunnery; now just a field walled in, the outline of a church. We ate apples at the pub and drank wine waiting for our lunch.
Now we tell ghost stories but there’s nothing eerie about this stillness. The eerie part is re-entering the city, coming suddenly to a well-lit bridge, passing parked cars, pubs, restaurants, cashpoints, closed shops, kebab vans. It’s crowded, though there aren’t many people out tonight.
Meanwhile, I’ll get back into blogging, but my time seems to be consumed at the moment by a thousand little things–working, writing, eating, sleeping, cleaning, running, planning. Strolling along the river. Stay tuned.