Laughter in the night

I am up early this morning; it is around 5.00 a.m.  As I awoke I heard the sound of my daughter laughing. She will have been watching a programme downstairs on TV or a DVD; she often stays up most of the night doing that. Previously, she worked mainly a late evening shift at the local cinema but she quit that job last week. This is all part of her grand plan. She is going to emigrate. It is her intention to live and work permanently in a country half-way around the world from where I live. She is able to do that because she has dual nationality. Small things, like the sound of her laughing late at night, have suddenly assumed a poignance hitherto unimaginable. I don’t know how I shall cope with this. I know my world is about to be changed forever. Her laughter knells the start of my final chapter, as I look toward a bleak and sombre old age. Intellectually, I know that it is likely that I shall adjust and that cheap longhaul flights make reasonably frequent visits a possibility. Emotionally, I am a long way from such a calm appraisal. I think there are some similarities with bereavement, in terms of the subjective experience. Indeed, it is semantically accurate to say that I shall feel bereft.

I have been reading James Hamilton’s book on J.M.W.Turner. Apparently, he worked hard and fast, sketching quickly on location, using his archetectural training to take short cuts over the representation of buildings, and finishing off the watercolours back home (using the raw material he gathered in the field). If Turner were working today, he might well make swift use of a compact digital camera to supplement his sketchbook. Hamilton describes him as being a fit and lythe man with plenty of energy. In the 1790s he lived in Covent Garden, London, and walked the forty mile round trip to Bushey, Hertfordshire, in order to make drawings at half-a-crown apiece. I went to school in Bushey, some 150 years later. Who knows? Without knowing it, I may have literally trodden in the great man’s footsteps (unfortunately, there was no chance of doing so in the metaphorical sense).

Hopefully, I shall cheer up soon, my dear blogophiles. This is all I have for you, for the time being.

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