They threatened rain, lots of rain so I put of my idea of visiting Camolodunum and headed instead for the local grossly overpriced 'Outlet' centre. However as I got to the bus stop I saw the other bus awaiting so I went into town as planned. The weather folks said the rain was spreading to the east so I guessed that it would be dry all the time i was in town and the rain would arrive as I left.
The moment the bus started the rain hit the windows.
Rain heading east comes from the west? No, it came from the south, so it rained all the way in, all the time I was there and all the way back home.
I love weather forecasters, preferably fried by burning at the stake!
So I wandered from charity shop to charity shop, visiting expensive shops just to check on the 'reduced price' stock and took in a small graveyard on the way.
It crossed my mind that the tree in the background had been there a long time. Look at the girth on that! Two or three times the normal size of such trees. I suspect this one goes back to the 19th century, possibly earlier. How long do they live? Clearly this one has been around a long time and many branches have been chopped off by someone professional.
'Jumbo' the massive disused water tower seen at the top, stands close to the 'Mercury Theatre.' Not a place I would waste money on but at least they have a magnificent statue of the Roman version of the Greek Hermes. Hermes was not just the messenger of the gods he was also the god of thieves, but I suspect you knew that. I wonder if there is such a statue in the Houses of Parliament?
The remains of this church always grab my attention the top of the tower looks somewhat Italianate, the entrance door looks about 1100, the rest look Victorian. Either way it makes no odds as it is just a big hall now and next door in the 1990's building the church meets. Not sure what they use this for now, behind that closed black iron gate a sign says 'Come in, We are open,' but the entrance is the other side!
This is all that remains of this part of the town centre, the rest was bombed during the war and is now hideously shop centred. Very good for shoppers as all the right shops are here but not an architectural delight. The wee narrow streets around remain and have potential but I always feel this is a dirty town, lots of character but needs a real good scrub up.
My weary head pondered on the way home about many things. Not the sixteen year old's blethering on the bus way behind me, not the aged couple on the other side dropping grumbles about 'all these migrants' but two things only.
One was the greenery brought out by the rainfall these last months. The fields were green, the tractor delaying us again was blue, the white blossom flowered magnificently all over the huge hedges by the roadside, especially on the relatively newly built by-pass, and had we been able to stop the yellow and blue flowers were abundant in many fields we passed.
No-one appeared to notice.
The other thought concerned the report that when the Conservative Party came to power there were only 66 'Foodbanks' in the UK, now there are over a thousand! However from the top deck we could see many large, newly built homes with several bedrooms and either a large Mercedes or a BMW parked outside. We passed many vehicles that cost a plenty as well as the cheaper, second hand, runarounds. The shops were busy in spite of the constant rainfall, people carried bags that were full, shopkeepers still sold expensive items and people were happy to buy.
Like me many were chasing 'shiny things' but I was doing so in the Salvation Army Charity Shop, they elsewhere. 'Shiny things' are good and we need them but where is the money coming from? Are the shoppers once again using credit and heading for another fall? I hope for their sakes we are not as under this government, which will be hard to remove, they will be left to rot!
Let us all sing a song of joy...