It’s 2016, and the whole world has been conquered by the forces of the mighty emperor, Globuscapitus.
All? No! One tiny village in Britannium, Islingtonium, holds out against the invaders. Their chief, Jeremicorbix, has a magic potion brewed by their druid, Socialix, which makes them invincible. In this story, Jeremicorbix and his tribe do battle against the mighty Globuscapitus and his generals, Bankusbonus, Zeroarscontrax and Publicsectocuts. Will they win? Surely, if even Incumpercapita, the first female general ever, could not vanquish them, no-one can.
OK. A slight diversion into the world of Asterix there, triggered by a quick perusal of Asterix in Britain this morning. And where was I this morning? I hear you cry. I was here:
Well the thing is, I went to Wales by mistake. No, not really, I went on purpose and stayed by mistake as by the time I got there two days seemed a rather short visit so I went on longer. Mary and John are semi-self sufficient in a stunning 17th Century rectory joined on to another house to make something both longer and higher than any normal house has a right to be. It’s delightful with wobbly floors and wood-beamed ceilings, unexpected cupboards and large, old doors with latches. In addition to the house and garden they have an orchard with free-range pigs in one bit and trees in another (only one of the pigs is theirs and will be slaughtered in the winter.) I thought I might feel quite squeamish about this but in the end I found the animals quite amenable. The chickens, too, were highly interactive and I could see how people end up being very fond of the animals they keep.
So what with scattered courgettes, ripening tomatoes, a mending roof, a shed full of wood and about a million projects all started and all needing attention, I found it quite mind-boggling. The village itself though is quite something, with a castle and church dating back to the 11th century (the castle was one of a line which stood on the English-Welsh border and there’s a pub in a neighbouring village showing a man on one side of the border and a devil complete with pitchfork on the other. That’s us…) It’s tiny really and most places that size would be dead but this has a functioning town hall
a pub with at least two local real ales and a shop.
Ah, the shop! The shop deserves a paragraph all by itself. Run by a local man who has lived on the same spot all his life and whose mother used to run it, he keeps it more or less as she did. He sells sweets by the quarter-pound (!) from proper jars and on his ancient wooden shelves he has two types of tea, Ty-phoo or PG Tips. My tentative request for camomile was met with a bewildered stare. He also runs the Post Office, which again most villages that size would not have.
I was introduced to nearly everyone in the place and gave the address of this blog to at least one of them. So if you’re reading this Jean, hello and welcome.
So that’s been my week so far.
How’s yours been?