60k On The Clock

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Ephemeral.”


I make no apology for the quality of the image. This was taken when I was a passenger in my husband’s car, and the milometer had just done that magical thing and moved on from 59999 to 60000. Not everyone gets so excited about that moment but we did. We patted the dash and said something like “Good old Dave, 60k and still running well”. All our cars have had names. At least since I decided they should. Now that is a whole new thread….

Reading the title of the photo challenge, my mind was initially pulled towards clouds, sunsets, magical views glimpsed by chance. I then started to consider the definition:

 Lasting for a very short time

And I thought about our place on earth. We each last a very short time, relatively speaking. As I trawled through old photos, looking for a moody graveyard shot, I came across this, and I thought “Ahh, yes.”

It’s a pretty poor example of digital photography (I think that I used my then phone, the trusty HTC Radar), but it captured that moment. Actually, it didn’t. A single shot couldn’t capture the exact moment that 60k showed up. You would need two shots, before and after. Better still, a short video clip.

But why did I bother? Why were we so hung up on capturing that moment? It was meaningless. Just a number. Made less significant by the fact that we didn’t buy the car from new. So this didn’t mark 60,000 miles together. We were on our way back from a short holiday. It seemed appropriate at the time that our automotive buddy had hit the Big Six-O on a journey home. Why? I honestly have no idea.

On a related note, the break had been postponed because we had been caring for our sick cat when first planned. He wasn’t well enough to stay in a cattery, so the holiday company let us reschedule. Said cat died the following new year.  After a good innings, but relatively ephemeral existence. We are accustomed to marking significant anniversaries. Birthdays, weddings, important events in history. I understand that.

What I don’t understand is my need to sigh wistfully at about ten past six on a Sunday evening, and think about that cat.

I might raise a glass, or mug of tea, sometimes, “To our dear lost friend. Never forgotten”. The time varies, I can’t even get that right because at on the original Sunday evening, I was more consumed by the sadness of the situation to take note of the exact time of departure. Why the ritual?

I can only assume that I, like many others, do this to not forget. It’s a practice that was instilled in many of us at a young age. Remembrance Day, St George’s Day, Christmas. Each on their own set day of the year. Why should we be forced to feel grateful, patriotic or celebratory at these times? I can be paralysed with grief over the loss of the cat at the unlikeliest of moments. I can also be minded of his traits and I will smile. I won’t forget. The Sunday ritual only serves to keep the wound fresh and do I really need that?

As I write this post, it is the first Sunday of British Summer Time (yes it’s all ours folks!) The clocks have been moved forward.

What could more ephemeral than an hour taken before it has started.

I wonder at what time I should raise the glass?


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