Thursday, 24 April 2014

Of another year.

There’s a pub.

Eight miles out from the town, on a B road, there’s a pub.

The pub is set back from the road; out front there is a gravel space for parking – even though no one drives to this pub.

Most people walk, some cycle.

A hundred yards along from the pub is a small lane. It’s easily missed as there are banks of high hedgerow on each side, and the lane is small.

The small lane winds up into the hills and though you can’t see it from the pub, the last bend will lead you to the ruins of a castle.

Today the castle is surrounded by soft rolling hills.

Green hills.

Green hills far away?

Once this was the site of bloody battle and the green fields ran with blood, today there is no one.

If there was they would probably be riding back down the lane as evening comes, toward the pub. 

They would notice the heavy scent of honeysuckle on the night air, for the hedgerows are heavy with it.

Opposite the pub, also set back from the road, is a cottage. It sits alongside a small stream and the garden is largely overgrown.

Next to the cottage there is a caravan; from inside you can hear the sounds of the stream for the walls of the caravans are thin.

The cottage is closed up, the owners live in a distant city across two borders and only come once a year.

But from the caravan a soft light shines through the curtains.

The door opens and a young man - early twenties (because that seems young)- steps into the garden.

It is his job to control that which is overgrown.

He doesn’t intend to stay here long, one year at most before he moves on.

To the north, where later he will be married and become a father.

Tonight he intends to do nothing about marriage or the overgrown.

He steps across the stream, crosses the road, shuffles across the gravel and enters the pub.

Someone else breathes one last drop of honeysuckle blossom, turns a corner, skids in the gravel and sets his bike against the wall before also entering the pub.

There is no need to lock it.

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