Having recently moved home, I am meeting and getting to know my new neighbours. This one favours a spot two minutes from my front door, just by the jetty.
Sunset seen over Rowhedge on the opposite bank of the River Colne last night. Taken on my evening riverside walk in Wivenhoe, Essex.
The reflective moon playing coy on last night’s walk west along the river Colne in Wivenhoe, Essex.
Of the 366 in 2020. A leap year.
Returning to Essex, meant returning to work – two different employers, two different jobs, on three different sites in two different towns.
I was met by new faces, old faces, all: ‘Happy 2020!’
I step (rather than leap) into a new job in the third week of this month.
I’m apprehensive and curious; it’s energising. Step forward, 2020.
The air is milder, the days little-by-little longer, now, I feel it is but a short hop to Spring. In the morning, I leave for work as the sun comes up, and in the evening, I leave for home just as it sets. Winter is clocking off.
Once upon a time, my grandparents lived here with my mother and uncle. Last week upon a time, I suddenly came across this house and realised it was the one. Now, the buildings and cars have encroached, but my family’s stories keep the place apart.
As seen today on the rear wall of a house in the Dutch Quarter, backing on to Colchester Castle Park, Essex. A feast for the eyes and food for thought.
My GP (general practitioner, or family doctor) is based at Durlston House, or number 18 North Hill, Colchester. I have a long connection to North Hill, perhaps longer than I realise, specifically number 47 with its key place in my personal history.
Number 18 lies on the east side of North Hill and has its own stories to tell, of course. It was given Grade II listed status in 1950 – recognising its late 16th-century structure with Georgian facade and its 18th-century oriel window over the central doorcase. Yet earlier, in the 19th-century, Roman tessellated paving and medieval walling had been discovered in the back garden.
There are exposed wooden beams throughout the house, perhaps the most eye-catching of which are in the north room downstairs, now the surgery waiting room. Here, the walls are covered with public health notices, an electronic screen flashes the names of patients, doctors, and rooms, and the obligatory leisure magazines sit, neglected, on a corner table.
If those waiting (sometimes) patiently only look up to the beams, they can see there painted inscriptions. The medical practice has thoughtfully transcribed, printed out and framed them as a poster for the patient to read and make of what they will. Here, as so often in life (and medicine), there is no explanation.