I feel like I’m betraying a trust with Graeme Fife but my interactions with him are so great that I can’t help but share his writing. I don’t think Graeme is much of an internet guy so I think our secret is safe.
If nothing else, I like to reread his emails. Here’s where I’ll keep them. An excerpt from his last email – which I’ve edited for some privacy concerns:
I am just back from Norfolk, where I used to live. […] I took the opportunity to visit some dear friends of long date, bike on the train to Norfolk and then off into the lanes I know so well, a residual memory.
The sun shone bright and warm on Thursday evening, I rode past stubble fields, clamps of harvested crops, quiet villages and a sign warning motorists SLOW YOU DOWN which is how they say it in Norfolk. I rode some hard miles, too, out of my skin and then into that depth of fatigue where you can barely think, a weariness aggravated by three punctures – they were cutting hedges and tiny thorns like panel pins scattered about the roads. I knew I was in for trouble and got it, but, hey, it didn’t rain, although the roads were grimy with muck and mud, grit and gravel from the overspill of the drainage ditches.
I had a fine time in conversation, at table, good food and drink with dear friends and the ride back to Norwich was a breeze. I got to our rendezvous, slipped into the loo to do a complete makeover (clothes in back pack) and emerged, quite the dapper interviewer (ha ha) to wait for [E.] – she’s a charming lass, we had a good long confab and then [G.] took a gallery of portraits of her down by the river across the road – the water where I used to scull.
So, now it’s back to work, the sky through my window blue and all but clear of cloud. I know I overcooked the riding – it was a blast and I went over the sensible edge, sure, but that’s what we are pleased to be able to do and glad, still, to be pushing. As the man said When we do not live, we are walking to our own funeral.
All the best