Saturday. Time to get out and to be out.
Today’s destination? No, I’m not driving to work on a Saturday – forget that! But, every workday, I drive up the A14 towards Colchester and, out of the corner of my right eye, see a church steeple beckoning to me from on high.
Come on! it screams. Bunk off work, take that right turn, and come to worship! You know you want to! But, being a vicar’s daughter, I’m well-versed in church avoidance tactics. So, I ignore the voice of the Lord and continue on up the A14 towards my employer, who does at least pay me for my obedience.
Come Saturday, though, and I’ve run out of excuses. Also, the boss is only paying me for the next month or so, at which point I bank my redundancy cheque. Time to listen to the voice of all that is miraculous. Time to hedge my bets.
And DD (my beloved, but temperamental Dacia) is raring to go (i.e. stalling). A couple of hundred yards into my journey, DD stops – with her nose stuck right out onto a roundabout! Fortunately, the car approaching from the right is the DD’s double – another Dacia. It too stalls, stopping short of DD, and we’re able to take off again.
It’s going to be a lazy day for DD. She decides that her driver needs some exercise, nips into a lay-by, and turfs me out. I’m left with no choice but to slog towards my goal via the field route. The red carpet awaits!
I may be strange but, to me, there’s something special about mixing the man-made with the natural.
After all, isn’t this what we all do when we head off to Argos to select whichever watch best complements our skin tone?
Dig this one!
Totally in love with this watch and it broke the soon-to-be-redundant bank, at less than a tenner! Cheap love. Give me more!
Watches aside, then who would have known that the walk to the church would yield so many floral perks? Churchgoers – forget the in-house flower arrangements! Why pay the professionals, when God did such a good job out here?
Soak up the sunlight and immerse yourselves in natural colour!
And if a downpour catches you out, take cover in one of these hideaways:
If you fancy drinking tea with Hagrid, go for the thatched roundhouse, or alternatively, keep company with a woodlouse inside an abandoned shed.
I have to add at this point, that whereas all of the grasslands and borders are extremely beautiful, it’s wise to don your leggings – especially if, like me, you’re the redheaded-sensitive-skin type of a wild thing.
Hope this goggling geezer’s got his trogs on!
Trogs or not, then I reckon that any number of nettle and bee stings, rashes and scratches, are more than compensated for by the countryside view on offer. I especially love the swathes of purple. I’d like to be able to say that the botany project my Aberdonian schoolteacher made me do, all those years ago, had equipped me with a lifelong encyclopedic knowledge of wild flower names. Unfortunately, my brain has been scrambled by twenty-three years of employment in a mashing factory, and all ability to recall names of any kind, people or plants, has been irrevocably destroyed. Still, at least I know my colours! And red and purple are my all-time favourites. Just take a look at that red poppy (hey, I’ve identified something), trying to muscle in on the tall and slender purples! (Kind of reminds me of Love Island’s Anton’s doomed attempt to muscle in on the towering Arabella!)
And the walk continues to deliver, as I get closer to the holy place – even offering up some mutton chops to chew on.
But being a vegetarian, I prefer to pause and indulge in some off-task chatter:
Baaaaaah, bah, baaaaaaaaaaaaaah …
Have to say that the conversation is very one-way. Hence, it comes to its logical conclusion:
I had a Godfather (no idea whether I still do) called Brian, and I recall him being very fond of a chomp on some churchyard flowers (back in the day, in the parish of Donington, Shropshire). For this reason, I cannot help but slip into a daydream, conjuring up an image of mutton cuisine with a pink-flower side salad.
Rather fortuitously, my attentions are diverted by a luscious-blonde uplighter. And, a little further on, I come across its inferior – all dressed up in a pretty lavender shade and flirting with a pair of daisies. Could this be a not-so-cool Curtis, taking his time over whether to go for Maura or Francesca? If he bothered to look back to his left, he’d realise what a superior specimen he left behind when he rejected Amy. Silly man!
Sorry, Curtis, there’s no easy fix! You had your day and you lost out!
At last, Jay Cool arrives at the Church of St Edmund, and there’s a luscious ginger at the helm, holding on for dear life (musn’t wear that bumbag again – makes me look like I’m the oldest nutter on this planet to be up the duff).
A friendly church caretaker (warden?) is cleaning up the church and its grounds, and he encourages me to inspect the ‘fascinating’ remains of past congregations (many of whom bore the surname of Gurdon). I don’t need much encouragement to indulge in my favourite pastimes of grave-digging, poo photography and wonky tower dodging. But it does help to know that I am not the only one who has a fascination with all things weird. And, on entering the church itself, I’m pleased to receive a second nod of approval by none other than the Great One!
Yes, Jay Cool, the Great One agrees in a telepathic sort of a way.
Yes, you really are doing the Earth a favour by giving up the day job to become a bestselling author! Your title ‘Fractured Faeces’ is a guaranteed No.1 in Waterstones and on Amazon.
But, I’ve barely heard out the Great One, before I clutch my hands to my heart.
This is it – I’ve fallen in love – I’ve just got to have this red chair, and I’m seriously tempted to declare my new-found passion to the entire population of Assington, via the pulpit! But the friendly caretaker is still hovering around with his Hoover, so I resist. It’s one thing performing to a crowd; quite another to have an audience of one!
I move back to the churchyard (can always return to gaze at the chair again later), and shoot away at the already deceased (always wanted to be the heroine in a zombie action movie).
It all gets a bit much, though, even for a starlet, and I decide it’s time to crash out with the twice-dead.
It’s comfortable enough but, before long I’m having nightmares (daymares?), and things start to take a dark turn, as the film set begins to turn into reality.
Time to leave …
I make my escape, back the way from whence I came. It would be a mistake, however, to call it a return journey, as this would be to suggest a repeat of the same experience. And, this is far from the case; everything looks different from another direction because, I am not, believe it or not, walking backwards!
Okay, so a red carpet looks pretty much the same whichever direction one walks along it, but I definitely didn’t spot this three-trunked tree when outward bound. And neither did I snap any of these flowering wonders.
Before long, I find myself being swung at by some horrifically spiky medieval flails (below, top right – reckon my boss is on the other end of them). And, I’m just beginning to recover from the shock (not at all shocking, if it was the boss), when I look up to see that I’m walking through a sea of bubbles. It’s like being in the Bible story, when the Red Sea departs to let Moses and his followers pass through to safety on the other side. Except that I’m not Moses. I’m Jay Cool. The sea is very green and I have a suspicion that it’s about to keel over and drown me.
Hit your foot against a splinter, and fell into foaming brine.
But alas, you were no swimmer, so you drowned my Mistress Cool.
Assington Autos! Such an attractive view! What were Barbergh Council playing at by allowing this planning application through?
My sanity quickly recovers, thanks to a wild flower bonanza. It’s all even more exciting than a visit I recall to the Dutch tulip fields, back in the day (when I was even younger, but less sprightly)!
The only minor issue, here, being that the generic name of tulip covers all in the Netherlands, whereas I can’t very well use poppy and daisy with everything that regards itself as a flower in Assington.
Looking beyond the borders, fields of wheat stretch out to the horizon. Shame my legs don’t extend out that far.
If they did, I’d be able to catch up with my Love Island favourites, Ovie and Amber, who appear to be enjoying a tete-a-tete. Amber’s doing a Maura, and leaning in for a quick snog, but looks like Ovie’s having none of it. More fool him!
I make it back to the lay-by to find DD. She’s impatient, wanting an immediate leave, but I’m lingering on … to take just a few more pics. And, then, … just a few more …
DD’s revving up, which were she any other car, would make me panic and jump in. But I know DD – she stalls, which leaves me with many more seconds to kill. Snap. Stall. Snap. Etc.
It’s time. I jump into the driver’s seat, just to be sure that DD takes me in the right direction – and we end up where I’d planned to end up all along:
Hello, Shoulder of Mutton! Anything vegetarian on your menu? No. Oh well, just as well I picked up some wild mushrooms en route. Mushroom soup?
Okay, if I really have to, I’ll settle for a pint of Aspall’s! (No, I’m not driving back home afterwards! Why do you think I have DD? And a fine-looking chauffeur?)
Need to hire a chauffeur anyone? That’s great – get in touch with the firm! This fine specimen’s been booked up for quite some years to come …
So go get your own!
Copyright owned by Jay Cool, July 2019
Image of goddess from Pixabay.com. All other images by Jay Cool.
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