Half a million spent on cranes and forklifts and trucks, lifting rock from a stately home (that doesn’t need to profit, what with the visitor tariffs and gift shop and restaurants) and digging up another site on monied ground. Planting up the flowers and pumping water through like it was a stream, a real stream. The Champagne people are here, stroking their chins and their wallets. The Royals stagger through. The paying people gawp. They look at the sandstone, at the scale. They feel in their pockets for cash. They forget that all this is theirs; that the land lives.
‘When you leave you never go back, even if you think you might: it’s impossible.’
With these words he left: took a job somewhere abroad. He never visited, or if he did he kept it quiet. Of course we saw updates online: places he went; achievements; petty squabbles.
‘All as the world turns,’ an old friend once said.
I have grey hairs.
‘There is no such thing as “close of business”.’
That’s another thing I heard.
When he finally returned there was little fanfare, just raised eyebrows.
He hadn’t come back, he had tried to catch hold of a shadow.