Saturday, 28 September 2013

Tewkesbury, unjustly neglected

This photograph was taken in the late Peter Healing's garden of tranquility, by the North side of Tewkesbury Abbey. Having discovered it last July, I'll try to return there whenever I'm in Tewkesbury. Old acquaintances staying nearby had invited me to lunch with them yesterday: they told me I had more than repaid their kindness by walking them to this garden. In a month of cornucopia, Creation Time no less, the vine and fig tree are loaded, and berries weigh down the shrubs either side of paths: you hardly think there would be room for them.

On our way there, we stopped to glance down one of Tewkesbury's alleys: there must be upwards of 50 of them. The house on the corner of this particular one belonged to a man known as Cork Legged Packer: he rented it to the eponymous Mrs. Lilley, a widow who ran a china shop.

We said our goodbyes, and seated at the bus stop a pony and trap trotted past. Falling into conversation with a man on a day trip from Pwllheli, I learnt that 95% of its population speak Welsh: he only acquired some English when refugees arrived from Liverpool to escape the Blitz. It made me think of the continuing blitzing of churches in Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, not to mention the mayhem caused in the shopping mall in Nairobi; but it reminded me also to offer a prayer of thanks for at least a measure of peacemaking this week in Syria and with Iran. As well as for the sobering - hopefully eye-opening - new IPCC Report.

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