In fifty days I will leave London for good. For good is a goodÂ way to put it because I know I’m leaving for the right reasons and at the right time; before my love for this city withers and wanes, before I have to layer my way through another limp English winter and limp English summer.Â Before itâ€™s too late and I regret it forever.
Fifty days is not really long enough to do anything except pack my life into boxes and say goodbye to my friends. In fifty days, I canâ€™t fix anything that is broken. I canâ€™t know everything, I can’tÂ see everything, eat everything. Fifty days is not long enough to make myÂ friends’ children remember me fondly asÂ that funny friend of their parentsâ€™ who loves them. Fifty days is not long enough.
But then fifty daysÂ is just long enough for me toÂ seeÂ the last of theÂ roses that bow their heavy heads over Hackney’s doorsÂ and fences.Â To feel the fever of those rare hints of summerÂ after weeks of grey.Â It’s a chance toÂ examine an almost-decade away from Australia. To admire how far I’ve come and not just in miles. Fifty days isÂ just the time I needÂ to try and colour what my future looks like, to try to make out shapes in the darkness. To remind myself fifty times overÂ that the end of one thing means the start of another.
Sometimes at the end of a roll of film there is an accidental exposure, an explosion of colour and light. Like in theseÂ eight photos above. They are light and colour at the end of something. They are light and colour at the start of something. They are mistakes and they are achievements. They are the kindness of my friends. They are a life laid bare, they are anything weÂ want them to be. They are magical.
The end of things can be magical. The start of things can be magical. And in fifty days, they will be.