Day One

Trip down was one of the worst I can ever remember. Delays almost from the word go, stressful traffic generally… though this time around, the mood in the car was one of the most positive in memory. I know why this is, that I used to not travel well, but the last couple of years has softened the corners. It makes everything far less stressful when you’re not putting everybody on edge.

Learning you’re the problem is a life skill many people could do with grasping.

This morning was a trip out of town to the seasonal Agricultural Show, as Mr Alt’s brother has a stall there, selling his wares. I went to the same event two decades ago, so it will be interesting to see how much has changed. This town is remarkably untainted since the first time I visited: you can very obviously draw a line between old and new. I was also here as a child, because of the railway, which is unique as it no longer part of the main UK rail network but remains a vital transport resource regardless. We used steam power to travel this morning, which is a joy that I hope global warming won’t rob future generations of experiencing.

Mr Alt’s middle brother now owns the house he grew up in, with his mother living two doors down. One of my most vivid memories of being here over three decades is taking a bath one morning (no shower back then) with the window open and hearing a steam train whistling out of the station. On the most glorious of Summer days, it was a throwback to what I imagine it must have been like to live in the era where mail only ever came via post and the telephone in rural areas was still a novelty. My husband loves to tell the story how he didn’t have a telephone for many years growing up. I can’t imagine a world now without communication on that scale.

I’m a rubbish real life Hunter. We did archery today. The rest of the family could hit targets, all three burst balloons when placed for practice. I managed three arrows in the target, but that was it. When the zombie apocalypse happens, I’ll be the one doing the fixing and sorting shit out. Hitting things with arrows can be a job for competent people.