Accidental Wales

Google maps doesn’t seem to understand local lockdowns, or perhaps it was the most expedient route from Hereford to Somerset. However it happened I ended up on the Severn Bridge, and Lou took a photo. I love the bridge – it’s gargantuan. You used to have to pay to get into Wales but it was free to get out. They’ve scrapped it entirely now, which is a relief. We didn’t get out of the car in Wales and I only mention that she took the snap so people don’t worry I’m the type to drive into the river for Instagram.

She’s beside me as I write. She’s finished making curtains and meditating. About 100 pairs of curtains she made, and likely more than a hundred in hours of silent meditation. God knows how many malas, and now she’s drifting to sleep next to me as I write. I said to her a few weeks ago that I knew it would be a bit like harvesting a lettuce when I picked her up. When you’ve been ascetic for a long time, the world seems overwhelming. I remember being a shocked immediately after Camino, and integrating slowly. And she’s not going back to her place immediately, where all her stuff is. She’s coming to join me and Hex and fishies and clutter.

I bought some brushed cotton sheets so she’d be able to sleep here without coming out in hives, and now I’m snatching a blogtime with a candle burning and chamomile tea.

I combined a delivery with her pickup, and threw in a site visit for good measure. A friend of mine is doing something extraordinary in Hereford and he wanted to share it with me. He emailed me yesterday out of the blue, and he was 20 minutes drive from my pick up location. Coincidence? You might have gleaned that I’m a big believer in that thing we call by so many names – the universe, fate, divine providence, coincidence – what you will, I watch for its work and encourage it when I can. I was able to go for a site visit and dream into his dream for a wee while. I have very little doubt I’ll be writing more about it later on, and spending even more time in Hereford engaging with this incredible thing he’s made possible. My head is literally rushing with it right now and has been all day, but until I’ve collected my thoughts I’m just going to dangle it here for a bit like this and move on.

Eight hours driving and it shot by with thoughts and company. Much of it involved having Lou in the passenger seat and even when brassicated she’s a good talker. I’m glad of her being here as I’ve been quietly going feral on my own. The new sheets likely helped prevent her exploding with discomfort when faced with all the pictures and socks and boxes of hats and half finished mugs of tea and cold blooded animals. The sheets are ASDA sheets by the way and you get good cotton – a whole set for thirty quid. And I’m not getting free sheets for saying that. Dammit.

Now the rain and the road is behind me, both in time and in space – it’s pouring again out there behind my back and I’m hyper-aware of the traffic noise coming in through the window, and the drunk people talking and the sirens, knowing how much of a light sleeper she is. But these sheets feel great compared to the crap I usually sleep wrapped in. So all in all, a good day. And so to bed.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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