Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Suburban Roadwalk

After a night and morning of incredibly heavy rain yesterday, the sun finally appeared in the afternoon, so I went for a walk down one of those long arterial roads that reach not from the edge into the centre of town, but run from point to point on some imaginary midway circle, what in geometry is called a "chord".

I'm not sure why, but I have always felt drawn to these anonymous suburban edgelands, where the traffic is heavy, and pedestrians are few.  They're the roads kids walk along to and from school, where the buses stop, and where most houses either face away, or are concealed behind sturdy fences.

In the photograph above, I like the illusion of broken continuity given by the shadow of the walkway up to a pedestrian bridge on this side of the dual-carriageway matching the slope of the one on the other side, seen through the gap in the trees.  In the picture below, the low sunlight brings out the pink of conifer trunks and the vivid green of algae-covered fence panels, which -- if you are of a suitable age -- might evoke the covers of either Elvis's first album or of the Clash's London Calling, a token of the suburban roots of most rebel rock.

Places like this are where most of us spend those memorable, adolescent years, mainly yearning to get away to somewhere -- anywhere -- a little more exciting.  And they're where we generally return to, later in life, because it's the best we can afford and -- let's be positive -- perhaps also in order not to deprive our own children of the rocket fuel laid down by that aching youthful sense of frustration.  Go on, if you can, kid, run!

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