Wednesday, December 19, 2007

balloon man, 30 years on, guess who

Opposite the entrance to Victoria Place, a tall, beefy balloon-man, hangs on to a crowd of gas-filled balloons. The balloons are printed with images of Father Christmas, elves and fairies. They bob and swing in the wind. Will they carry the balloon-man off to fairy land? He is too big and too much a man of this world. He produces a cigarette and lights up. I look back to see if he and the balloons have gone up in flames, but hope and presume that the gas is not inflammable.

I walk past a house that I lived in 30 years ago. In the front garden are some shrubs, which I can remember planting there, almost certainly the last trace of my presence in the house.

A female figure approaches. A hat covers the top of her head, a scarf, against the cold, her mouth and nose. We greet each other, though all I have to identify her are her eyes.

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