Jonathan: Today, for a change, I’ve come to Chelmsford by train. Walk to Welwyn GC station, train south to Moorgate (but signal failure meant I had to change to another very crowded train at Finsbury Park), walk to Liverpool St Station (no signs to give directions), and then train north-east to Chelmsford, then short walk to office. Time taken 1h 50mins door to door.
Driving the far more direct east-west route along the A414 is just 40 miles (and about half that on dual carriageways) – but has never taken less than 1h 30mins, maximum so far 1h 45mins.
I have to ask – what exactly my career in designing and building roads has actually achieved!
Denise: I’m sitting in the conservatory and for once I’m not carding wool, spinning it, knitting or anything remotely like. I am making a fuss of Tilly, the sort of gentle fuss that is intended to distract and calm a very excitable young thing. And Tilly is VERY excited because she has just this afternoon arrived at her new home, and there’s so much to discover.
Tilly is NOT another cat (7 is a very nice number to have – a pity to spoil that!); and she is NOT a greyhound. Tilly, is a black labrador, about 2 years old, and KC-registered, though I got her from the Uist branch of the SSPCA. And what really matters is that she is absolutely adorable!
She doesn’t annoy the cats, and is no more than amused by chickens. Molly and the rest of the cats are more curious than put out (though that may change the firs time Tilly helps herself to their food!). She’s very bright: soon after getting her home I took her across the road onto the beach, and coming back she knew exactly where to find our gate and the way back to the house. Excitable, but not daft!
You’ll be dying to see what she’s like. I’ll take a photo and J can add it for me tomorrow perhaps. You’ll just have to wait a bit – J hasn’t seen her either, and won’t till he comes home at beginning of October.
Jonathan: Have you noticed that angels always seem to be dressed in white? A golden-yellow white as opposed to an Ariel or Daz blue-white, it’s true, but white nonetheless. I can’t say whether the cut of the cloth, or the tailoring varies much from one angel to another, just they they alway seem to very bright and lacking any adornment, pattern or texture. You’d think that up there – beyond the reach of vanity, envy, avarice, lust or other incidentals to that earthly phenonomenon called fashion – they could indulge themselves a little without falling into sin. But apparently not. When it comes to eccelesiatical vestments, angels, it seems, can only window-shop. And so too must I, for though I’m certainly no angel, I can alas think of no earthly justification for me – as a Hebridean crofter and civil engineer – acquiring any of the truly beautiful works of art and craft made by Ruth Black, her mum Anna and her daughter Mary [see photo right, nicked from Ruth’s website http://www.angelforce.co.uk/pp/vestments/index.htm]. Or do you think they could do something with that new blue boiler suit I’ve not yet put int use – the one with the pleats on the back and the nice silvery press-studs? [Picture left – no that’s not me! – nicked from the Greenham website.]
Denise: Knitting hats went wrong last night and I had to knit backwards a bit where I was decreasing. Difficult to see these days.
Jonathan: And it isn’t even the afternoon yet ;~(
Ennui, they called it in the 19th century. Women trapped in unchallenging lives by social mores and gender discrimination. It’s the unchallenging and trapped bit that applies in my case – though hopefully not for much longer.
The forecast for the weekend was promising, but in truth it’s just been warm and grey. Not that it would have made much difference if it had been fresh and sparkly: I just don’t have the motiviation, the enthusiasm, the emotional desire to engage in this land of strangers and strangeness.
During the week I picked up leaflets for various cycle routes leading in various directions from Welwyn Garden City. I need the exercise, I love being outdoors, and I love exploring. The Cole Green Way (WGC to Hertford and beyond) I cycle almost every day when I’m camped in Hertford (21 miles a day is definitely exercise enough!) but I haven’t tried the route the other way to St Alban’s. Perhaps I should. Some time. St Alban’s is, I feel sure, my sort of a town: I could even go to communion or evensong in the Cathedral, or both. (That said, I could easily have gone to a service in Chelmsford – but I didn’t).
It’s 1140 already – too late to make the most of the trip. I really should try this next weekend. I’ll almost certainly never have the chance again. I don’t like it here in SE England in general, but I’m sure there’s something at St Alban’s that will lift me out of myself. I’m thinking Cathedral, Roman remains, pleasant leafy avenues, old-fashioned bookshops (but not likely to be open on a Sunday?). There you are, I’ve written it down, I’ve got to do it now! Next Sunday. Unless it rains. ;~)