Peas in a Pod
I have been on holiday again. Well not so much a holiday as a pilgrimage to honour a friend. She was a college friend, so we go back a long way and we got on well. She lived in Swansea and kept in touch with letters, phone calls, emails and visits.
Our next meeting was to be at the art gallery to see a
painting by one of my ancestors. We planned it carefully where we would go and
what else we would do. But illness and family commitments prevented that
happening. We kept on talking about it though and enjoying the thought of
meeting again. What fun it would be. Then the pandemic struck.
Our get-together was like a beam of light ahead. Then
suddenly news that after a short illness she had died. I did not know what to
do. Then it struck me, I should still visit the painting, she would have wanted
me to. So that is what I did.
I was met by a member of staff. I had planned ahead and was
expected. I stood in the corridor where hundreds of people must have passed by
perhaps without a second glance. I looked at the painting full of light and joy
at the seaside and thought of my friend.
We were staying in a Pod which is a glorified tent but made
of wood and with all mod cons. There was a BBQ, a hot tub and a fire pit (what
for?). This was not like camping in my younger life where we slept on slowly
deflating blow-up mattresses and warmed a tin of beans on a little gas stove.
Here was a cooker with induction plates, a wet room (do you remember the
communal showers in a shed?), a TV with Netflix and all the other delights that
The beaches brought a surprise as they were crowded and
overflowing with families grabbing a well-earned break in the sunshine. The car
parks were full. There was no room for us. We visited castles instead and gardens.
Back home our garden seemed to be a wilderness of flowers
and weeds which had sprung up in glee when they saw that we were away. Fruit
had ripened, peas and beans filled pods of their own. There was a lot of
picking to be done. Then off to bed thinking peacefully of my friend and the
adventures we had.
But in the dawn light I was woken up by a loud cry like someone who had lost a friend. I rushed to the window. There was the heron shrieking at the side of the pond eyeing our few remaining fish.
(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)
We found one quiet place at the seaside