Magical time



Today’s photographs were taken early today, the sunrise down the street at 5.40am and the panorama of Tunstall Square at 5.50am. It was clear, sunny and mild with another warm day in prospect. There is of course a lot less light available than your eyes see, the camera on my phone is not adjustable enough to really get the feeling.

What is missing is the sound.

I love the early morning, I always have done, I can never understand the joy of lying in bed for hours. Somehow some sort of programming has occurred in my brain to make me an early morning person, perhaps the time I spent as a baby in Dr Barnardo’s in Bristol, where I would think a fairly strict 1950’s regime would have been in place. I was there for 18 months until my adoptive parents took me to their home in Stoke-on-Trent aged nearly 3.

I love that time in the morning. There is a special sound, a hovering silence broken by the first buses on the move, a milk float, people passing are silent on the way to work. When away working and staying in cities I loved getting up at this time and watching a city wake up, I especially remember Philadelphia, with street cleaners going up and down, workers for the hotels drifting in from the stations, street sellers setting up in time for the commuters. And Edinburgh during the Festival, with streets empty of performers and the endless leaflet distributors; and the northern light creating shapes of light and dark on the stone buildings before the madness of the daytime.

For most people there is a reason to be up that early, but for me it is a magical time, in many ways the best time to get to know a place, perhaps an equally good reason.



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