Printed from WriteWords -

Another Bloody Bank Holiday

by  crazylady

Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2005
Word Count: 860
Summary: Hello, I'm back online briefly. A little piece about the Cotswolds

Another Bloody Bank Holiday.
I simply must organise my life better than this. I seem surprised each time another one comes around. I usually spend the day in determinedly melancholy fashion, always very conscious that everyone else seems to have some pleasurable social event planned and my isolation is thrown into sharp silhouette.
Today the sun shines from a pale blue sky filled with downy clouds. I can't stay in suburban boredom, so I'll go on a meander around the edge of the Cotswolds, the soft underbelly of England.
I call at my local supermarket to purchase a pork pie and a clutch of bananas to sustain me on my expedition and then head North West away from any conurbation. A picnic miles from anyone is my goal.
I deliberately take the B roads to enjoy the beauty of the Spring day. I wonder at the cushions of blossom in the hedgerows, the fat bursting buds and the new yellow of the dandelions in the verge. My thoughts go back to childhood days.
A sharp 'toot' from the rear brings me abruptly back to the present.
A glance in the rear view mirror. Oops! I'm doing about 40, but that's too slow for the line of road-ragers processing behind me.
At the first straight piece of road they rev up angrily and snort past, some with aggressive gestures.
Of course, how silly of me. This is how life is lived in the 21st century.
Once they've disappeared in clouds of billowing exhaust smoke I resume my stately progress, savouring the views from the hilltops. I realise with irony that I'm doing the very thing that we, as youngsters most derided our parents about. I'm going out for 'a run.' How sad is that?
Turning down ever narrower and windier lanes, I mentally determine only to follow signs for two name villages that begin with Lower, Deeper or Little. In one of these hamlets I pass yellowy-brown stone cottages, with opulent shiny cars overcrowding their drives. I note that after the gentle untidiness of the relatively untamed farmland, the shoals of daffodils and tulips in the fiercely manicured gardens seem shocking.
These days daffodils seem such an urban flower, marching in rows down dual carriageways. In one of these bijou villages, I pass a road called St Peters Close. Where? Well, I never saw him. They should have put in an apostrophe. Or should they? That reminds me I must read “Eats, shoots and Leaves” sometime.
Eventually, after many twists and turns, I find myself on a partially unmade road and pull in by a hedge and open the windows. Munching my pork pie, I relax.
There's not another human or vehicle in sight. I can take in the soft distant hills, the vivid green of the winter wheat across the lane, and Oh, that endless sky. Beside my window are early shy rosettes of the first hawthorn leaves. I can hear the twittering and warbling of birdsong, in the far distance the hum of an unseen trunk road is carried by the wind.
Now I can wallow in something. What? I can't remember now. How lovely to have the freedom to do just what I'm doing. Absolutely nothing, no demands from anyone, no deadlines to meet.
A car just sped by, I could recognise the driver's angst, by his white knuckles, the way he leaned forward towards his windscreen and by the speed he took the corner. Possibly for him life is full of pressure. My only pressure is to get home by the end of the day for a shower and a night out.
I remember now the disappointment and resentment of so many Bank holidays past, when I thought my role was that of organiser. I thought I was the pivot of the weekend. I know that what I have now is beyond price.
I've despatched the pie and two bananas, so time to move on again. Hereafter, all roads lead to Chipping something and it feels just about time for a stroll and a cup of tea.
Once there, seated at an outdoor table, it feels almost continental. Again I'm struck by my lack of urgency, as I watch others moving with a purpose. I love people-watching, it's my second best hobby after the 'being disapproved of' game. The passers- by today in family posses, either look sullen or very fed up. Very few seem to be delighted by their day. I can spot the controller and the controlled in each group. I know because I've been both. This of course adds to my enjoyment, today I don't have to justify myself.
There are some times when I think it would be nice to share these travels and other times when I know that I have the best possible company.
Well, back home now at a leisurely pace, then a shower and glad rags and some sparkle. Tonight's party night. My pals would never believe me if I attempted to explain how I spent this afternoon.
Today, for a while, I've turned into my Mother, or even possibly my Nan. I'm stunned by how comfortable it feels.