Saturday, May 06, 2006

Have you ordered your copy yet? 

Yesterday morning I was working from home, as I had plans for the afternoon – of which, more later - so I happened to be in when the postman came. From upstairs I could hear a prolonged rustle as he struggled to push something bulky through the letterbox, followed by a definite thump as whatever it was hit the floor. Packages that like are usually for my wife, so I didn't get too excited, but then I saw that this one had my name hand written on it - and then when I saw the inscription "Fred First.. Goose Creek..." I felt a very distinct thrill of anticipation - I'm sure my pulse quickened a few beats.

Wrapped in familiar Amazon-like packaging, this was my copy of Fred’s book, Slow Road Home. So far I've only had the chance to look at it from the outside, as an object as it were; but even without passing through its pages into the delights of life following the slow road – a path which, in my mind’s eye, I will always see lit in the kind of misty, magical, fairy-tale light which Fred is so adept at capturing in his photos - the book is a joy to appreciate purely as an object, and doubly so knowing its provenance. It's satisfyingly weighty in the hand, the cover and layout are inviting to the eye and the paper has a lovely springy quality that makes it a pleasure just to flip the pages!

There’s another way too in which, without even opening its pages, this book carries immense meaning for me; it is a tangible, irrefutable example of just how far a slow road such as Fred’s can take you, when you allow heart and soul to lead the way for you, one step at a time.

My own road has been anything but slow of late, so I intend to take this volume as Fred intends – slowly, and savouring each moment.

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