The road I’ll take tomorrow

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I stop to take a picture of a crow filled conifer and, as I turn, I fall in step with a Scarlets-clad man on the road I’ll take tomorrow.

He wouldn’t know that I drew the badge that identifies him, for which he paid good money, in support of the team that supported me all those years ago.

Visitor centre helpfulness sends me off down periwinkle and buttercupped lanes. The gorse too, already in bloom, two weeks before at home but the dogshit is always in season.

Misshapen rocks graced by pink and yellow lichen enliven dry stone walls held together by gravity, guile and moss.

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Speed sign for 30 (as if), and past adverts pasted to a galvanised post for taxis in the middle of nowhere. Wishing wells exhausted by all they have given to the lucky dwellers on the hill overlooking the spectacular.

Seagulls scream and dive-crap parked cars like sleek feathered Stukas, where people sit indoors in quietude for a moment or a lifetime. Dramatic sea, looming rocks and dotted islands mistily framed by their windscreens as distant tankers sidle by, embarrassed.

A bolted gate next to an open path supports useful, tasteful info. Coastal signage of exemplary form and function, etched wood ageing sympathetically with the weather.

Pine bolstered steps aid me back, past a struggling, fat, black beetle and bring into view farm detritus, which scattered before such beauty only serves to underline it, twice. Discarded machinery and careless architecture lie untempered by a vain attempt to jolly up with garden centre shrubbery replacing natural hedgerow.

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A still beautiful roadkilled badger saddens the verge, its monochrome coat not obvious camouflage to anything, other than the zebra crossing it should have used. Or maybe did and died unseen?

The path finally reveals an empty, ancient phone box, communications lost, now only of use to thirsty dogs and to remind me that today’s coffee has been missed on the road I’ll take tomorrow.

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All this, and Welsh too.

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