We’ve been quietly renovating our little welsh cottage for the last few months, drinking water from a spring, rainwater from the sky, gas from a bottle, electricity from the sun. Situated right on the roadside we have few passers-by and little reason to read or listen to the media. We’ve been repointing the inside of the little cottage, hoping one day to move on from the caravan parked up outside. 

It’s a tedious job, sitting or standing in the cold, dark interior, wearing a head torch and staring at the same square metre of wall whilst the rain falls gently or gusts vigorously in that way only welsh rain can. Rake out the old mortar, or mud in some places, brush the wall down, brush the dust out, sweep up, sweep out, mix mortar, press mortar by the kilo into the gaps in the wall. Slowly working our way through our joint collection of CDs played on an old ‘jog proof’ personal cd player plugged into the tiniest un-powered speakers. Exploring our separate pasts in the music we each choose, from Fields of the Nephilim ‘Last exit for the lost’, those tragic pre-grunge days of Temple of the dog’s ‘Hunger Strike’ “I don’t mind stealing bread from the mouths of decadence, but I can’t feed on the powerless when my cup’s already overfilled”. 

This week snatches of the media caution us that we should prepare, going out for our regular shop we find toilet roll aisles are still empty, baked beans are still out of stock and we can only buy 2 cartons of oat milk while the lady next to us has 6 litres of cows milk. Over the road to the garden centre and there seems to be a rush on for compost and see potatoes, we stock up on first earlies, a bag of main crop that have started chitting already, compost for the seed trays and head back with ten more tubs of lime putty from the builders yard.

Back to the re-pointing and we came to ‘The Lark Descending’, not put to one side but played three times over. ‘Albion’ – “Albion I’m homesick now though I live in the town I was born”, reminiscing of the festival gigs where we watched people get up and walk out when Chris Wood came on. Even at his level there are people that don’t like him, don’t like his music, don’t like his songs or don’t like his message. still Those moments we savour, that we are all different and yet all the same. We vow not to take it personally next time it happens to us.

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