On the train home, once I’d finished reading, I started thinking about the future, but occasionally I drifted off a bit in my thoughts. Looking through the carriage windows, at men we passed who were working on the rail tracks, reminded me that at least one of the engineering companies in our existing group was involved, in one way or another, on the HS2 high speed rail project. I’d bet a pound to a penny that few, if any, staff working on that project would be axed. One consolation, the redundancy sum calculation looked as if it would offer some padding to the three months pay in lieu of notice.
Day One – At Home
As I walked into the house through the front door, I guessed that now was not going to be a good moment to break my news to Helen. Even from the hallway, I could hear Paul crying in the kitchen and Helen trying to soothe him.
The late November rain had been waiting for me at Codmanton and I’d got soaked walking to the bus stop. I hung my dripping wet jacket on the staircase newel post, put down my bag and briefcase, slipped off my soaking wet shoes and walked through to the kitchen in my stockinged feet. I’d look for my slippers later. They must have heard the front door close because the crying had been replaced by sobbing and Helen had stopped speaking. Walking into the kitchen I could see that they were both looking at me. Helen had got him sat up on the worktop, facing her. Tears were still running down Paul’s cheeks and dripping from his chin. Helen was shrugging her shoulders and her face clearly asked for help.
“Oh dearie, dearie me!” I said to Paul while drying my head and face with some kitchen roll, “Have you been making Mummy sad?”
He jumped down and ran to me with his arms raised, wanting me to pick him up – which I did, and held him to me while I looked over his shoulder to Helen mouthing silently to her a request for a heads-up.
“Kyle and Paul have had a fall-out at school,” she explained, “Kyle wouldn’t let Paul go round to his house to play with him on his new PlayStation.”
Here we go, I thought. This is not a good time to be promising him a PlayStation upgrade..
“Hmm!” I whispered , “Mummy and I will have to ask Father Christmas to shake his money tree to see if he can find enough pennies to buy one like Kyle’s for Christmas. What do you think about that my little pumpkin?”
He pulled his head back from where it lay on my shoulder and looked at me to decide whether I was joking.
“Will you, Daddy?” he asked, a serious look on his little face.
“Well,” I said, we’ll certainly do our level best to persuade him. If there aren’t enough pennies in his magic money tree, we’ll ask him to find something that’s just as good, won’t we?”
The sobbing had stopped and he climbed down off me and went to Helen to tell her what I’d said, and begged her to ask Father Christmas nicely. He skipped happily into the hall then ran up to his room. Helen thanked me for pacifying him, but then asked why I was home so early. I asked her to come and sit down because we had something that we needed to discuss.
Today’s featured photo is of one of my favourite bridges, only a few miles from where I live. It’s the Silver Jubilee Bridge between Widnes and Runcorn across the River Mersey. Currently the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic while refurbishment is carried out. A newer, wider, toll bridge – the Mersey Gateway has been constructed East of this older bridge, and is now open. When the improvement works are complete on the bridge in the image, both bridges will be toll bridges. The other bridge visible in shot, behind and to the West of the featured bridge, is the mainline railway bridge carrying trains southwards between Liverpool and London, and to points between the two.
The EXIF Data for the featured photo are as follows: Pentax K-1, 36 MP full-frame camera with a 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens at 35 mm and f/13. The shutter speed was 5/2 secs and the ISO was 100. The camera was tripod mounted and the post-processing in Lightroom.