Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

La Neige: brooming the tree

 Up the road, in the dark, walking in the very deep snow, I notice a man and his pregnant partner in the middle of the road with a boxy camera down in the snow. They’re taking a picture of the hospital they say because it looked nice and creepy. A discussion about the usual terrible state of arts funding blather ensued as another 5cm of snow fluttered down.

 Up the hill, inspired by these two Urban, reproductive types I decide to take a picture of an orange road bollard. In the lense though I can’t see any sign of the bollard, so snap any old thing.

At the intersection of two roads I see a man, with woman and a dog, and a broom. He is putting the broom up into the tree and brushing it. He is definately brushing the tree. I know because I stand five minutes in the chilly conditions to be absolutely certain. 

Two young fellas approach with the broom business directly in their line of vision. One has a set of googles like a snorkle on, so I remark on its functionality. The other one, seemingly jittery, says: did you see that flash before?” and anxiously scans the pavements for its source.

 Too embarrassed to admit that was me taking a pic of a road bollard that I couldn’t actually find when it came down to it. I suggest it’s someone taking a picture.

I found it mighty curious that a man sweeping a tree didn’t create any consternation, yet an average flash sent him snorkelling into detective mode.

The man with his broom up the tree worries me. I have that furry foreign moment of I’ll never come to terms with this city until on a radio program today I hear someone describe tree branches heavy with snow, cracking and landing on the power lines, and rewarding the population with instant darkness on top of the troubling conditions.

 The man brushing the tree is actually a visionary. 24 hours and a warm oven to cook his chicken in ahead of his time.  It was the broom more than the camera that mattered.

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