Sunday, 30 May 2010
Though it was late May, the wind was as frisky as an autumn gust, driving blizzards of blossom from the horse chestnut trees, which formed a girdle at the bases of the trunks. Up on the road, looking down the sweep of the bank to the bridge over the brook, there were no cars about. It was too early on a Sunday morning even for these country folk to push out their Focuses and Vectras, and so only I was king of the road.
Before breakfast, born of necessity as a doting dad, this walk funnelled me down to the town. I had won too easily my usual game of race a car to the next notable landmark several times and was accompanied only by the sonorous murmurings of wood pigeons in far off copses, and the urgent rushing of the brook beneath the bridge. A literary road this one, graced with plaques in honour of Barbara Pym and Wilfred Owen, resonant with memories of drunken staggering or sober reflection. Sometimes a walk of shame when reviewed in the cold light of day, at others a belly-rippling recollection of innocent shenanigans.
I was not passed by a vehicle until I had begun to crest the bank on the far side of the brook, and was easily able to reach my imaginary finishing line ahead of it. At the last, approaching Edward Street, there was a sign of humanity in the shape of a woman walking the dog. Ron & Mabel's was shut.