Yesterday I decided to go for a little wander. Just 20 minutes or so, round a town I know reasonably well, though I’m still discovering little nooks and crannies.

I took a spiralling path up Castle Hill, which sits in a little park. I’ve never been to the top before. It’s not very high, but I got a view over some rooftops, and down into a space I didn’t know existed. It was damp and cloudy yesterday, but I imagine over the summer it would have been full of young people chilling and feeling private. The thing with being up high is that you can see without being seen. I could look down on people lunching in the park, and a party of wheelchair users crossing on the diagonal path.

There are two benches up there, both graffitti-ed, but with much more positive slogans than I was expecting, both so neatly lettered I initally thought they might have been officially carved there:

Peace and love prevail ∞

Be excellent to each other

I spiralled back down, crossed the park – past a tiny castle shaped folly – maybe an old gatehouse, but for what? – and down a road I never walk down, always drive down. There’s an old railway station, a cafe with a sublime statue of Queen Anne on top, and glimpses of the river. I turned left, through a very narrow alleyway, with black painted walls, that cut through to the High Street, and strolled through the market. That’s where you buy those things you don’t find in proper shops- fleecies with pictures of wolves on them, khaki waterproofs, plastic handbags. It’s like a walk-through Ebay.

I finished up in the library – always a challenge. They always have the second book in the series. Where’s the first? Can’t always be out on loan. Lots of books with cupcakes on the front. I have a strategy – I do a quick scan for a couple of authors whose names I can remember, and then pull out a couple of random choices, based entirely on the cover. So shallow.

As part of my dealing with cancer thing I have officially extended my lunch break from 30 minutes to an hour, and I plan to spend at least 20 minutes out of the office. This was my first attempt. I’m going to try and record something beautiful, or quirky, or just a little attention-grabbing each time.

I’ve told my parents and my kids that we have moved on a notch, and they have all managed the news as well as can be expected – though my son accused me of being too “jaunty” about it. An interesting choice of words, but I know what he means, and he’s probably right. It’s all so vague – everything changes, nothing changes, we adapt to the “new normal”. I’m waiting for a bone scan now. I was describing that to my friend the hairdresser, and the young (younger than me) woman next to us chimed in and described her bone scan. Jaunty, she was – and bizarre that we should be chatting about these things in a hairdresser’s, over coffee. I never asked her why she had hers done, and we remained jaunty throughout.

About sarahsouthwest

I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.
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1 Response to Wandering

  1. Iridacea says:

    I think I might add those graffiti notes to the front of my journal. Wishing you the best as you make your “jaunty” way through the shadow land.

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