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– The Love that Remains –

a sash and a cloak. The last of the band of brothers, Gerald Smaje, wore a toga and carried a toy trumpet. Our mouths were set tight with secrets of recently discovered buried treasure. Behind us was an ashenfaced square-shouldered miner, trogging home from a twelve-hour shift.

Looking down the slope under low clouds, I stood like a Gulliver straddling the silent roofs. Coming to the front window of 122 Speakman Road, I could see the Brazils of my bedroom broken into yellowish shards. I was on the outside looking in, almost afraid to see my adult reflection in the glass. St Helens was no longer my past but my present and my future. It was endlessly beautiful. Leeds, London, Manaus were tears in the rain, transient moments lost in time, and in the slowly growing darkness the last few recollections slid away. All that remained was a yearning for eternal recurrence. I was ready for another voyage.

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