The white cotton blouse is all sweaty especially under the backpack. It’s such a relief when the coach driver finally takes it from me and puts it in the cargo hold. On boarding the bus I am welcomed by a wailing child. I sit down, choose to ignore the crying and smile. The sun is shining. I am grinning my best as wrinkled surfaces absorb more solar energy. The weather forecast for my 5-day holiday is rather gloomy so I decide not to waste a single ray.
So the journey has begun. To the seaside off I go!
My blouse gets creased upon the transfer from the coach to the train but it still hasn’t lost its fresh appeal. There are three people in my compartment: two middle-aged women in patterned tops and a man with a female jean jacket. Outside I see a sea of meadows: all shades of green with splashes of poppy red. As one lady leaves, another enters. I get drawn to one of them. She has a strong raspy voice and a pear-shaped body. First, she has a rather long conversation on the phone and then she switches to text messages. She’s texting something about a broken heart. I didn’t realise that big ladies get broken-hearted too?
I listen to the rhythm of the road and join in the music. My sandwich is my tambourine, a cucumber is my drumstick. It’s late evening when I find my way to the campsite. I set up my tent around 11 pm. I don’t recall falling asleep.
*I link rhythm, road and music to gems by:
Marvin Gaye “Inner City Blues (Makes me Wanna Holler)”
Oh Wonder “All We Do”
Michael Kiwanuka “Cold Little Heart”