Swarm

It was as simple as ‘get to the top of Finland and turn left’. 

At least that is what my memory tells me.

My days had been spent discovering just how big moose are, enjoying the elation of entering the arctic circle for the first time and floating through time, exposing film after film, as Finland morphed into Norway and trees shrank in size while the moss grew in stature.

As I pulled up at a T-Junction, further north than my wildest dreams had ever taken me, the day was calm and sunny, my windows were open and I was taking in the smells and sounds of Northern Scandinavia. 

Look left.

Sublime.

Look right.

Perfect.



Look left again. 

No one, nothing, deserted – just me, all alone in the arctic circle. 

All my dreams come true.

Yet something  – not much, but enough to attract my attention – was not right.

I registered a low hum, a deep bass…just enough to make me glance right again.

There was nothing there, but I was in absolutely no rush, life was good and all was well with the world. 

So I kept looking, breathing, relaxing, waiting.

The hum, rising gradually in my chest was spreading into the rest of my body, as there on the horizon, cresting a slight hill, an insignificant speck morphs into existence.

I stare, I wait.

The hum increases.

The speck becomes a motorbike.

I have no desire to pull out in front of a bike, even if it is still way away in the distance.

I stare, I wait.

The hum increases, more than it should. Way more than it should. My body is now resonating in a worrying way.

I stare, I wait.

The bike spreads and grows, morphs into many, many bikes. As if it is leaving itself behind – It is getting closer, yet at the same time not leaving the horizon. 

I stare, I wait.

Ready?

A streak, a flash, a rumble, my neck pivots, my head spins and the child in me starts counting.

One.

My head spins back, but already five more bikes have passed.

TwoThreeFourFiveSixSe…

The adult in me stops counting, registering a hopeless task when it sees one.

The bike – for surely it must be recognised as a single entity now – is simultaneously blurring past me, and appearing over the horizon, singing to me, seducing me with its deep rumble of a heart stopping voice.

The child in me grins, laughs and enjoys.

The adult in me starts to feel impatient.

The child wins.

There is no rush.

Harleys, beards, tattoos, choppers, handlebars, chrome, leather, goggles, cliches…all flash, blur, flash, flash, blur past…a feast for my eyes, a feast for my soul.

I sit back and I watch, I feel and I wait.

Ready to turn left.

All Memories & Vignettes

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Swarm

May 19, 2019

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February 15, 2018

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Knee Deep in Prayer

January 11, 2018

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September 3, 2017

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The other side

June 10, 2013

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Lewes bonfire night

March 11, 2013

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The shitting fields

April 21, 2011

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February 28, 2011

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Five Minute Windows

April 7, 2010

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March 28, 2010

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Cycling into Hungary

March 15, 2010