It is 09.11 on Saturday morning and I am in an all new kind of hell. Even home-made ‘oxford’ marmalade on home-made bread cannot cut through the assault to the senses which happens to be my carriage until Newport. It seems that Aliens must be destroyed at top volume, meanwhile an unknown musical sensation probably of short duration croons away. Tea is drunk from cardboard cups proclaiming ‘caution contents hot’ and crisps are munched at top volume, with scarcely a breath between bags. Salvation arrives in the form of Shrewsbury, gateway to the real world. As the rubbish is whisked away, (a paper kindly recycled rather than dumped, ‘you do recycle these don’t you?’ she asks as she adds the unwanted sections to the sack.) I wonder whether they know – these writers of the sections we never read, do they care that their words are tomorrows loo paper or house insulation? The carriage empties out and we disappear into the obscurity which is the Borders of Wales. Aliens continue to be murdered and the world is put to rights by a lilting Valleys accent. I retreat into Douglas Adams with a paper cup of (fair-trade) tea. Da iawn, trenau Arriva Cymru. Caution: Contents Hot!
I gave up my book, worthy though it was, the interruption is welcome, if not lightly fanciful, ‘we won’t disturb you if we sit here?’ no, (and yes of course!) The three delightful ladies who lunch interrogate my lazing in the sun, already having gleaned our occupation from the staff, perhaps slightly quizzical at my choice of reading (still McIntosh from the train the other week) What do you find to preach about these days? Should you not be in your parish? Do you have a curate? Such questions lead me to believe they are country villiage folk, know a little of the living, but not enough to suggest a regular church going habit. The conversation turns to walking and birds and I am directed along a path towards the salt marsh. I find out rather quickly why all this land looks so barren from the other side, a firing range and it is active today! Amid gunshot I wander for a while trying to seperate Flint from Bagillt from Greenfield across the Dee with little success. The birds were busy, wild bees scrambling around an old fox hole and a Well, held sacred by someone at some point, but overgrown now. I return, the ladies of lesiure have gone so I return to my book.
Looking from Neston across to Wales, Holywell was easily picked out due to the water tower on the tops, I thought to myself, I’d hate to live over here with that great view, always seeing it but not being there, but then, I always look to Liverpool from Wales, not longing to be there, but comforted somehow, seeing the two Cathedrals, that it is still there! I guess those who live on this side might think the same, at least you can always see the hills from here, (weather permitting of course!) it’s good to get a different perspective on where you live, see it from a different angle. Arranging a school visit on creation this morning I have decided to let the children take me on a walk around the village to show me what is important to them. They will decide the route, afterwards I hope they will want to make a new map of the village with their points of interest drawn large!