Sunday, 18 October 2009

Rivers return...

On a windswept day in October I returned to the Isle of Dogs with my husband and family and travelled the same streets as my characters in the Rivers books. Danny and his costermonger's cart, Billy and his bare knuckle boxing, Lizzie in her bomb-damaged grocery shop, Rose and her Coronation TV set, fallen off the back of a post-war lorry. I saw them all, happy ghosts, under the shadow of the magnificent Canary Wharf building. I stood outside "our" old house, also in its shadow, but now regenerated into an investor's dream. We stopped at The Nelson for a bite to eat and walked the dog at the local park, flanked by the bridges of the Dockland Settlement. My Dad walked with me in his invisible celestial garb, but I know he was there, recalling the days of his youth almost a century ago. Mum was at home, unable to make the journey, or should it be, pilgrimage? A promo-day later, we were on the train and returning...always returning, if not physically then in mind and heart to the Source.

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