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Fifty days

In fifty days I will leave London for good. For good is a good 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. Before it’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 can’t fix anything that is broken. I can’t know everything, I can’t see everything, eat everything. Fifty days is not long enough to make my friends’ children remember me fondly as that funny friend of their parents’ who loves them. Fifty days is not long enough.

But then fifty days is just long enough for me to see the last of the roses that bow their heavy heads over Hackney’s doors and fences. To feel the fever of those rare hints of summer after weeks of grey. It’s a chance to examine an almost-decade away from Australia. To admire how far I’ve come and not just in miles. Fifty days is just the time I need to try and colour what my future looks like, to try to make out shapes in the darkness. To remind myself fifty times over 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 these 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 we 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.

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