Photos of wrapped things near my parents' house

I've totally fallen for someone who is, consciously or unconsciously, making me lose my mind via our sporadic email/text communication. To try and stop myself checking my phone every three minutes I decided to leave the warmth of my parents' sofa and wander around their estate.

On my way back from the pub yesterday I'd seen that the Roman wall that surrounds the edge of the park was covered with white tarpaulin, probably for repairs to the stonework. In the dark it looked pretty good - like a huge ghost ship - so I thought I'd walk up there and take some photos.

As I was putting my shoes on I saw that my parents' garden table was wrapped up in black tarp.

And at the bottom of the garden, I saw that my dad had tried to wrap this palm.

In the summer my parents' estate crackles in the heat and buzzes with memories that jostle for position in my head. It's an overwhelming feeling, but exciting. In December, with the dampening drizzle under a white-grey sky it just made me despondent. The paths were covered in dead leaves, everything looked dirty and sad.

When I come home for Christmas I'm always struck by how the houses covered in Christmas lights are in little groups or huddles. A row of four houses with glowing Santas or light-up animatronic reindeer, as though they'd been inspired by each other's festive luminescence.

I'd never noticed this little cul-de-sac where four houses facing each other all had caravans sitting on their driveways. The other three had their metal tow-bars wrapped, but this one was fully covered for the winter.

Then there was this barbecue on someone's drive, packed away until summer. I know that they are covered to protect them from the weather, but there is a particular aesthetic effect delivered by these wrapped things, like they are being hidden from view and yet at the same time, brought to our attention. A ritual humiliation of the objects that remind us of another time. Or maybe it's for their own good, they've been temporarily blinded so that they shouldn't see the damp, pathetic winter that renders them useless.

I'd noticed these rose bushes last year, but they were wrapped up again this year, poking out of the ground like frozen dancers or Guantanmo'ed plants.

And then I got to the wall. There was a guy with a can of lager and a dog. He spoke to himself or the animal in a rolling, aggressive way. Like he was angry at the dog for being dependant on him to throw the tennis ball.

The wall was being repaired. It gets mossy and chunks of it occasionally break away. Every now and again they erect a fence and fix up the ancient stones with new cement and salvaged brick.

The modern repairs will eventually take over from the Roman stonework as the structural support of the wall. Then what will they be saving when they repair it? It's a question that doesn't get asked here. Things need preserving because things need preserving.