Cheltenham Town: Haruki Murakami:
" I quit thee with pleasure, and hope never more
to revisit thee! I believe I may aver and be agreed
with, that Cheltenham is the dullest of public places;
the look of the place is sombre, the lodgings dear and
pitiful, and no inns or stabling fit for the reception of
gentlemen or their horses. "
( A Literary Tour of Gloucestershire and Bristol- David Carroll [ 1994 ] )
So wrote the Hon. John Byng on 27th June 1781, regarding Cheltenham Town.
Well here's the thing: I was born and apart from eleven years with a sojourn in Dursley, I have lived all my life in the town, so you would expect me to have a rather biased view of the place .
I have always found it inviting, commodious, and rather cosmopolitan in its breadth and outlook. Furthermore, I venture to suggest that the spaciously planned Promenade, is one of the most amenable streets in the country.
Here we see from the bottom of the Prom looking at its pedestrianised section. Note the tree cover giving it a metropolitan flavour.
It has, of course like most large conurbations, less desirable areas, but in the main, has plenty to attract the casual visitor.
Not least the large number of festivals ( second only in number to Edinburgh ) which Cheltenham puts on during the calendar year. This of course includes the Literary Festival which, as I mentioned in my last posting concluded last weekend (12 / 10 ).
Here is another shot of the event, this time taken from the top-end of the Prom.
Again, notice the attractive floral decorations and one of the ever-present trees.
Yep, Chelt is alright by me.
" Inspiration, like a tiny flower
pushing upwards through the
snow to gain the fresh air "
The two books above are written by my favourite Japanese author Haruki Murakami.
I find his prose beguiling and love the way he draws you into the narrative.
A recognisable real-world situation, in the above case ( 1984 or 1Q84 ) which he skews just a little to bring in elements of an alternate universe, which always include cats and crows; who sometimes talk.
The above story over three volumes concerns two principal characters the boy Tengo and the girl Aomame. The arc covers their meeting as children and their eventual rediscovery of themselves at the books' conclusion as adults, Needless to say, a lot happens in between .
Here is An extract from Book 3:
" He always kept his mouth shut. He kept his ears open and listened closely to whatever anyone else had to say, aiming to learn something useful from everything he heard. This habit eventually became a useful tool. Through this, he discovered a number of important realities, including this one: most people in this world don't really use their brains to think. And people who don't think are the ones who don't listen to others."
" Inspiration, like a gentle zephyr,
which momentarily embraces you
as it flees through the rustling leaves.
A natural touch. "
Yesterday (17/10) D. and I visited an old stamping ground, Cam Peak, where we usually go on Good Friday to witness the wooden cross on the top of the peak. This time we walked up the side of the peak and then left to climb up to the escarpment known as Long Down. Moderate cloud cover with patches of blue afforded us lovely views over the Severn Valley and across the other side towards Wotton-Under Edge.
Here are some choice shots for you.
Here are some choice shots for you.
If you look carefully at this photograph you will see a mushroom
shaped house. It was used in a recent 'Sherlock Holmes ' BBC production.
"inspiration, like the remembrance of a forgotten
melody invoking the pleasure centres of the brain. "
The weather has been unseasonably warm the past week. I fear that will change in the week ahead, but I guess it will feel good to have awing in your face for a change. Clocks go back next weekend.
Cheerio for now,