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  • I'm sat in the cafe and the assistant says to another customer.
    “We have nine umbrellas. People have left them.”

    I wonder if they were all left on the same day, a day of change when the heavens had spat their vengeance, then retreated in the face of the intensity of the sun, the joy of good weather overwhelming all nine customers so en-mass they abandoned their property.

    Perhaps they started with two, an attraction springing up between them over discussions of storms they had survived, descending into umbrella love in the early nights, ignored by all apart from dissaproving self help books. The other seven born in a litter several nights later. (Umbrellas have a short gestation period, but large numbers of offspring.)

    Or maybe mass hysteria. A sudden psychosomatic allergy to the curvature of the handles, the spread of the spines turning into metallic spiders, leading to their abandoment among the lattes and hot chocolates.

    More likely each one is a little loss, personal and fleeting, that burrows down and sits there glowing for an afternoon to be forgotten like the abandoned umbrellas.

    Photographer: Ian Britton
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