Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In Nantwich, Cheshire

The home lawn
Back in the home town, sleeping in my old bedroom at the back of the house. My family moved here when I was eleven from the other side of town, and in those days the street light didn't reach to my bedroom windows - the orange ones had yet to make their glaring appearance. The room at night was pitch black and full of ghosts and monsters. You wouldn't dare to put your toe or finger out of the severely tucked in sheets and blankets with eiderdown on top.

Outside was still dark enough to be able to lie on your back on the front lawn and see the milky way splashed above you. My Dad's lawn always looked the way it does in the photo. My own lawn isn't really a lawn but a collection of green things most of which are weeds pretending to be grass. Ok from a distance but not so great for lying on. The weeds include thistles.

Nantwich square
I walked round the town with a camera yesterday. I don't think I've done that before. It was bank holiday so not too many people to litter up my shots. I felt like a tourist. I often feel like that these days, and I don't talk like the locals any more so they assume I'm from elsewhere. I almost want to wear a placard saying 'I grew up here unlike most of you blow-ins'. Ha ha. I don't really. But the town has changed. It seems to be full of people on buggies or with sticks, but it's probably just that I go out with my parents at times when the coffee shops (of which there are many) are full of retirees. You start to see the world through the eyes of the elderly and infirm.

I still like it here though. The picture is of the square. The rickety shop in the middle used to belong to my friend Sara's grandad who was a pharmacist. We both had Saturday jobs there. He used to send us upstairs to get new stock. It was exciting up there. Dodgy floorboards and pigeon shit and spookiness. He also used to send us to the draper's in Welsh Row to buy him longjohns. We found this disgusting. Just the idea of a man in longjohns was disgusting. Unless he was a cowboy in a television western. The draper's was old fashioned even then. There were faded packages and posters in the window and a smell of under-the-stairs inside.

The church where Joe and I were married
There's a scandal afoot in the town at the moment. A little shop next to the church had a fire - didn't burn the building down thankfully - it's one of the ancient ones from when the town was rebuilt with help from Elizabeth I after the fire of Nantwich. But someone was arrested for it at the weekend and my Auntie Susan says it was the owner. So it must be true.

Off to a garden centre today. After coffee in the town. Garden centres are a big favourite as they have cafes attached. Actually I like going to Bridgemere, even though it's been taken over by a big company. It's huge and where I used to go to buy plants for the garden. Half the plants in my garden in Clare originated there. Anyway, they have a new show garden so I'm looking forward to seeing that. And we can get a nice cup of tea.

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