While reflecting on the few days we spent in Wiltshire and Hampshire I realised the stark contrast of the journey often made down (or up) what is mostly the A338, between then and now. 'Then' being about 20-25 years ago. It represents a distinct shift in perspective. Names such as Porton Down, Boscome, Tidworth, the Winterbournes, Burbage.
If you put the two places, Swindon and Salisbury, into google for a route it sends you down the other road which disects Salisbury plain, the one with the old Cathedral on it at Sarum. We didn't have time to go there, shame, but it looks great from an arial view, you can zoom in quite close with Google satelite map. Not really the same though!
Some of those town names are just the epitomy of English villages, picture villages really, perhaps the sort of place some clergy would aspire to the living, in reality they seem divorced from society, save for the use of the car and internet! We did reflect that there is ample green space here to house a number of the great houseless, but they wouldn't be able to afford to live of course! – Unless Tesco built there too. But then are we not supposed to be protecting our green spaces… … of course these green spaces carry a different story, as a large proportion of them make up Salisbury plain.
The other names, Porton, Boscome, give off a rather sinister edge, the quiet village of Porton disguises the nuclear reality that is Porton Down an altogether different place from the one just a few miles to the east. The only acknowledgement is the MOD sign directing traffic away from the village!
Looking back on our brief visit to Salisbury Cathedral, not paying the full price (it was only a suggested donation) and to St. Thomas, (parish church) the quintisential English comment about the Anglican Church and the tory party at prayer was particularly evident.