Friday, December 30, 2005

Betwixt and Between

I love the days in between Christmas and New Year. They are so quiet and peaceful after all the rush of the week before. There is no pressure to go anywhere or do anything. Each day we have had a long walk to blow away the remaining cobwebs of two days spent at home eating, watching TV, listening to music or reading, interspersed with telephone calls from and to friends and relatives and quick trips into the garden to replenish the bird feeders and topping up the cat’s bowls indoors.

Tuesday we walked in Consall Forge Country Park taking our usual route along the canal past the station and the pub and back again by the lakes. We passed one or two other hardy souls on the way but not many people were out and about and the car park had only about five cars parked there.

Wednesday we ventured out to Lichfield. We parked easily and wandered into the town which was briskly busy with shoppers. After coffee and croissants we made our way to the cathedral and went inside. It was blissfully peaceful and warm and welcoming and we sat a while and looked at the sunlight streaming through the windows over the chancel and the way the shadows danced in the light above the delicate, filigree rood screen. We moved silently through the aisles and read some of the memorials, admired the nativity sculptures and watched as children lit candles for loved ones. We found the memorials to Erasmus Darwin, (whose house, which stands across the close, is now open as a museum) Samuel Johnson, (whose birthplace is now a museum in the town) and David Garrick; all famous men of Lichfield. We didn’t find the one for Anna Seward, Swan of Lichfield though, how did we miss it? We drove back through Kings Bromley, Yoxall and across the A50 to Rocester and back to Stoke along the Roman road.

Yesterday afternoon we walked round the lake at Trentham. It was completely frozen over and the trees and bushes on the islands were like massive ice-sculptures. Almost everything was white with frost and we were gradually covered with the wet ice blowing from the trees as we walked underneath them. We had a warming cup of coffee at the little café on the boat jetty halfway round and then wandered back and looked in some of the shops and the garden centre – my pre-Christmas determination not to step into a shop until after new year didn’t quite last I’m afraid – but at least these were small specialist shops and not the big city centre ones or, God forbid, the dreaded supermarket.


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