Light and Piped Music

A wooden cross stands above the square tower of our town church. As I drive down to the river which borders it the sky is gold in the afternoon sun. The cross  stands out against the dazzling background.

Winter fields extend to the distant hills which enfold this lovely vale. Bare trees border the old road. Lush clumps of ivy, torn from some of them by the recent violent winds, sprawl on the verge.  Today it’s fine and the air is still – wide skies and scattered, glowing white clouds.

I’m returning from lunch with a former colleague and friend I have known since the 1960s. We met today near a roaring dual carriageway, beneath a shopping centre where there was no escape from piped music, even in the lifts in the multi-storey car park –  close to airborne walkways which take you nowhere that you want directly to go.

We have long given up trying to find a pub, in this concrete wilderness, where you can depend on a pint of beer being drinkable, so we queued at a café in the shopping ‘mall’ – and enjoyed our sausages, chips and baked beans, plus large cups of tea. I was hobbling with my stick and a friendly canteen worker helped us to our seats with our trays.  People, people, all God’s children. In that wilderness where the glistening three- storey-high Christmas tree above Santa’s grotto would enchant any child.

It really was  a delight but the pine needles were plastic, not more than a mile from the open fields through which I soon was to drive home.

My friend and I went our separate ways, he to the railway station and I to my car. I looked back. He plodded on, in pretty good shape for his years.

As I drove home into the afternoon sun I saw him again in my mind. And as that image returns to me I include all my friends, in that light.


About lleweton

Long retired.
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3 Responses to Light and Piped Music

  1. Pat Nurse says:

    I find the modern new world plastic and sterile in everything and without warmth in most places. But when I’m are with real friends, everything takes on a different light.

  2. Pooka says:

    Fantastic. But a little sad. Dusty concrete and plastic do not become us, I think. I wonder if we’ve lost something with the loss of heavy wood, worn and polished over time; brass and wrought iron fittings. And things like horses and carriages on that carriageway. It is good that the memory of such things remains. And the reunions that mark lasting friendships.

  3. lleweton says:

    Thank you both, for your comments. Yes, you are right about friendships and their central importance in our lives. It’s amusing that the friend of more than 40 years I mention here, a colleague from the days of hot metal Fleet Street, its subs’ rooms and its pubs, much prefers town to country – and I’m the opposite. Even Aylesbury and the maelstrom I described here is (his words) ‘a bit small’. Live and let live eh?

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