• amelia

Allesley and squirrallys

Three years ago, I selected few pictures and called the album Slănic and squirrallys. Cause they’re cute and fast. I liked that name. I liked the trip, too. So, I said, let’s do it again this weekend. This time I called the album Allesley and squirrallys.

As you were not particularly interested to know, Allesley is a village on the northwestern outskirts of Coventry. What makes it special? The fact that I passed by. Hahaaa. Not. The fact that I passed by and a piece of my soul remained among the narrow alleys that dizzyingly intertwine among houses. Old houses, some still preserving pieces of their original structure dating back in the thirteenth century. Sometimes, only the walls surrounding the properties remind of centuries gone by. Huge river stones form the base, and bricks have been glued upon them. Red, simple, as are most buildings in the area.

It's so quiet along alleys. I feel it like a living presence walking beside us. There are papers on the houses’ windows. Children drew rainbows on them. How the rainbow managed to become a symbol of the fight against COVID, I have no idea. But large drawings with coloured chalk appear on the concrete alleys in front of the houses; can be seen from helicopter - thank you NHS. Simple as that. Enough.

Few people went for a walk in a weather that’s making fun of English jokes. The temperature is neither too low to urge you to hurry up, nor too high to get you tired. I have no clue how much the thermometer displayed. However, you don’t have to mind it, the body feels temperature in the air differently. At least two, three degrees higher. Might be from the water surrounding the country. I don't know that either. I don't even care.

The narrow gardens in front of the houses abound with flowers. Planted in the ground or posted in pots. On some flowers, sales tags hang on. Feels like I'm in a botanical garden. It's private property though, and I don't cross line to see the names. I think they could have posted bigger labels so they would be visible from sidewalk. One meter away. You needn’t have to stretch your neck too long.

There is a medieval church in Allesley - All Saints Church - dating from the 13th century. With the gates closed during this period, I could only go around it and remember stories of Templar Knights in the sound of armour and horses moaning. Not for long. Because my attention was distracted by the dizzying-smelling rose bushes, squirrels and birds. I see a tall fir tree. The tallest I've ever met. And I've seen some fir trees in my life. The stem had the same shade of brick colour as if it didn't want to make a discordant note with the walls of the sanctuary. It looked as old as the church. Impossible to take a proper picture from a close side. So, you just have to take my word for it.

In Allesley Park - belonging to the city, not the village - you can play golf within a radius of several hundred square meters. You can walk to and fro, stepping on the green lawn, trying not to get in players’ way or you can get out of the fenced area and walk the alleys like a normal person. A small lake surrounded by trees and dead bushes stands as a fixed trap for little balls that lost their lives in its waters. It has only one open side. Just good enough for you to quickly take two pictures of the sun reflecting in the afternoon.

We find old trees in the park. Their thick branches, starting from half a meter from the ground, are structured in such a way as if they invite you to climb. Waiting for the park with zip lines and tree trails in Cannock to be opened, welll, yes, I climbed the tree. Couldn’t help.

While we were exiting the park, saw a green space with a single tree in the middle. Toys were hanging in there and we saw a message on a wooden board. Shh fairies sleep here it informs us. We kept silent. On the other side is written If you can’t hug each other, then just hug that tree. It's an enchanted land, I tell you. These people have a different way of understanding and facing challenges. I am happy and sad at the same time.

I won’t write any line about the virus, prevention or control methods. It’s a job for specialists in this field. These are just lines about how the people here decided to deal with the subject. No unnecessary panic, no screaming, no blame. Discreet and imaginative.

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