|Ready for the journey|
The journey from London to Bristol was beautiful. I was in the 'quiet carriage', meaning no cell phones and no noisy children. The train sped through the countryside, along the river, stopping every twenty minutes or so. I was most excited when we reached Bath. What I saw from the windows was beautiful and my heart kept pounding with the thought "Romans were here".
My first stop in Clevedon was Zina's house. She lives in a delightful little house—it was built in 1854 and is tucked away down a small path and surrounded by garden. I met Buttons the Persian cat, Zina's mum made us a delightful lunch (mostly Mediterranean food, so I was in heaven), and Zina's dad (a poet) read out one of his poems. Then it was time to head into Clevedon for my tour of a beautiful Victorian seaside town.
We browsed antique shops, bought local chocolate, and walked far out on the Clevedon Pier (which can be seen in Never Let Me Go). The wind blew strong, and it was so wonderful to smell the salt air, to feel the wind off the sea, to see the rocky shore—it was like being home, although this estuary off the Atlantic is so different from the Pacific. Standing at the end of the pier I noticed a hazy land mass which Zina informed me was Wales, and my mind struggled to comprehend that I could actually stand in England and look across the water into Wales. I could almost see the ghosts of the past.
When we left the pier and Zina took me along Poet's Walk, a walk made famous by Lord Tennyson who spent his summers in Clevedon and walked that very path while composing In Memoriam. It is a beautiful path, with steep hills on one side and a sharp drop to the sea on the other. It winds up towards the church where Arthur Hallam is buried. The graveyard is beautiful, with graves overlooking the sea and a cool breeze tinkling chimes in the trees. It put me in mind of L.M. Montgomery's The Old Man's Grave.
Leaving the graveyard we continued up the steep path which winds 'round an old Saxon hill fort. Then it steeply descends into the outskirts of Clevedon and we prowled around the neighbourhood until we found Tennyson's house. We then walked to a little village where Zina's dad picked us up and gave us a quick tour (we saw a hare), and then it was back to her house to get ready for the ball.
|Looking down from the Hill Fort|