Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Away and home

I've been away over in Nantwich in Cheshire visiting the parents. Sunday to Friday this time. Flight days are according to the Ryanair timetable which is forever shrinking. We managed three of the many coffee shops in town - two of them relatively new. I was looking back at photos of Nantwich from last year and found these two with premises to let:

 This one, now become Enzo's, is on the Square and doubles up as an Italian restaurant. I've only been in there when it's behaving as a coffee shop. It seemed popular with people with young children as well as  the retired who populate most of these places during the morning coffee hour.

Can't remember the name of what this second one (next to the church, behind us in the picture) has become but it does fantastic coffee. The coffee cups are very big and have no saucers which always calls forth a puzzled comment from my mother.

The third is an old favourite hidden away in Hospital Street called Café de Paris. They do astonishing filled croissants which I'm not supposed to eat as they're not gluten free. I sometimes do.

Nantwich is a great town for coffee and second-hand clothes shops with Good Clothes in them. It's a wealthy area these days - there's money in Cheshire milk and cheese - so the 'vintage' (aka old) skirts and shirts and jackets are of pukka quality. Unfortunately I can't buy any of them due to Ryanair luggage restrictions. Ho hum.

As you can see Nantwich is full of black and white buildings. The countryside is also full of them. We went to the Nag's Head in Haughton a few miles out of town for dinner one night.

It's black and white on the inside too. Well, brown and white if you look closely at the photo.

Good food with special deals on Tuesday night. I'm beginning to sound like a tourist brochure. Also the tables are quite close together which is excellent for eavesdropping. As long as you remember you are also being eavesdropped upon.

Being back at home for the start of the school year, memories hit the whole time. September is such a nostalgic time however much you try to keep it at bay. Walking 'across the fields' as we called it - the meadows beside the river that became playing fields and pathways into town for those living on the Marsh Lane side - brings me back to pre-teen days of dens and playing on the railway (oops - mostly the old one). It's not too much different today. A bit tizzed up, a few more paths and footbridges.

This is the River Weaver looking towards the Town Bridge from the mill that burned down on Bonfire Night years ago.

And more of the river looking from the weir (I think) that took water on the roundabout route away from the scary sluice under the mill.

I'm forever trying to write a poem about this area. I still dream about it. No successful poem yet, but I'm still working on it.

Other poems were read, however, in Galway on Friday night where the Skylight Poets (my poetry group) read from its new anthology, Mosaic, at the September Over the Edge Writers' Gathering. We're reading again on Friday at the Clifden Arts Festival. I'm staying over (it's a three hour drive from here) in a B & B with fellow poet Marie. We did the same last year. I'm already planning hangover avoidance strategies. (I know I know - the only surefire one is not to drink).

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