This time a-week-ago I was on my way to Glastonbury – and Bath in Somerset – to enjoy the abundant Mistletoe – and take-in some festive vibes from the Christmas Market that surrounds Bath’s golden heart – the Abbey. My companions for the day were my two lovely sons – and nothing could dampen our spirits – not even the forecast for heavy rain.
Somehow the heavens opening over Bath added to the experience by reflecting everything back – the pavements in Bath really were paved with gold.
Our first stop was Glastonbury – for a festive foray around the quirky shops – it was grey overhead but the rain held-off for awhile…
From colourful Glastonbury High Street – it was onward and upwards to the Tor. My ever patient sons stayed cocooned in Archie’s all-too-cosy and comfortable car listening to ‘Heart’ – while I enjoyed a solitary walk to the Avalon Orchard at the foot of the evergreen hill. In the dimsy light – the orchard seemed more magical than I ever remember – and what a treat to have it all to myself apart from a chorale of crows. The grass was soaked – and so too were my boots in a very short time – but it didn’t matter – I just absorbed the tranquility and the rain – if I could have stopped time – I would have stopped it right here…
Everywhere – there where windfalls lying in the sparkling grass – huge red and gold orbs ready for harvesting. A number of the apples were decayed – brown and half-eaten on their underside – but many were perfectly acceptable – so I gratefully gathered a bagful to take home for my ailing, bed-bound ninety-two year old father – a bag of priceless rubies and gold. He has been dying for a long time now – but every now and then he rallies a bit – and nevermore so than when he has some stewed Glastonbury Apples from the Avalon Orchard. He is just skin and bone now – disappearing before our eyes – but he still eats just a ‘mouseful’ a day. Quite a few years ago now – when he was relatively fit and active – he had a pace-maker fitted – but now that he is dying of cancer and great old age – his mechanised heart won’t be still – it won’t let him go…
I have a picture in my head of his heart remaining in the middle of his bed; when the rest of him has withered away and gone to dust – it will still be beating.
When I got back to the car – I noticed a Hawthorn leaf had attached itself to me – so I peeled it off and pressed it between two receipts and put it in my wallet for safe keeping; the perfect souvenir of a blissful moment in time never to be forgotten. One can’t stop time even if one wants to – but there are ways to remember its passing.
Bath was resplendent in the rain – and even though I looked like a disheveled drowned rat come-up from the country – with squelchy boots and rat-tails for hair – I immensely enjoyed elegant, sartorial Bath City Centre. The rain poured down – every drop a sparkling diamond as they fell on a sea of umbrellas.
The pavements were like mirrors – reflecting the Christmas lights and doubling them. Bath was a wet, winter wonderland – and we were soaked – joyful – but hungry!
I treated my boys to a juicy burger from the Christmas Market – while I had a ‘poor man’s’ burger – a bap with ‘just’ fried onions! Nothing has ever tasted that GOOD! It was delicious – even though it was probably tainted with beef fat; ‘when in Rome’ and all that! I just went with the flow – and let the Christmas Spirit of Bath in the rain – wash over me. I didn’t buy much apart from a cheap and cheerful, super-blingy brooch of a spider in her web – that sparkles like the sparkliest silver tinsel and cost just six pounds!
Mostly, we enjoyed window shopping and the lights and the festive atmosphere – and our burgers! However, I did spy a beautiful, Mistletoe-green sofa through a shop window and I’ve added it to my wish list…
I wish you a joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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Soundtrack for a magical day – Saturday -10th December 2016 – a timeless favourite.