Woke up in the bed of my love, the day lightening outside, the daylight alarm light bright on the left. We lay around a bit, no real hurry, and then while she brushed her teeth I put my legs up the wall, stretching them out after the cycle the evening before. For breakfast we ate homemade yeast free, wheat free bread fried in coconut oil

On leaving I cycled out to Sun Lane then right towards the south, over the bypass and out past the golf course, a 40 minute 8am cycle ahead of me. My first time in that direction. It went well but somewhat too soon after eating. After Cheriton, seeing the open gates of Hinton Ampner House I took the easier route up the hill through parkland but found no way through to the church and the lane beyond. So lifted the Marin over a gate and sped past the front of the house, only then remembering it’s a private home as well as National Trust. Morning! Then it was the country lanes, past estate cottages, farms, and to the long straights of Joan’s Acre and Brockwood Bottom. Back home I felt my heart return to resting and some inner swaying as I sat still to arrive back. Shower. To work.

The contact for paying the ransom said we had 48 hours or the price doubles. In something like a panic, I reiterate the instructions to the Americans, knowing that there are hours until the Californian morning but wanting it fixed now. Come the evening I am still waiting on word. Afterward, answering emails and reviewing remastered audio. Lunch outside hearing stories of Malaysia – hideous insect bites, perfect beaches – and Paris – cut toe and blood on the Eiffel Tower.

The water supply was turned off most of the day, still is, as they fit a new tank in the Edwardian water tower, taking longer than they hoped. Never take for granted free flowing indoor water. Never. We’ve not had it long, us humans, and it is a true luxury.

In the evening, read some letters I’d written 12 years ago, loaned back to me. Correspondence of love. So in some way it ended like it began.


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