The Victorian cast-iron footbridge at Kemble station is wrapped in tarpaulins and supported by scaffolding as it awaits repair over the next few months. In the meantime, according to the official notice, there’s a temporary replacement bridge at the “Country End” of the platform.
The Country End.
It’s railway-speak for whichever end of the platform is furthest from London. It’s how my uncle Tony (a long-retired Station Master) and my grandad Sid (who was an engine driver in the days of steam) would have decribed it. Passengers, by the way, are “self-loading cargo.”
Anyway, I’m very happy to be living at the Country End of life. Teddy and I can be walking in open fields within two minutes of leaving the front door and in woods within five. It gets properly dark because there are no streetlamps, so we can see the night sky in all its glory. It has wide open views and proper weather. It’s exactly what we two-leggeds and four-leggeds need for our well-being.
Kingscote is a pretty Cotswold village (though not chocolate-boxy). It’s off the main road, but apparently on a Tom-Tom rat run, with about 40 houses of which Folly Cottage is the smallest. Chris lived there for nearly 20 years and now it’s my turn to look after it for a while.
It feels strange without her, but Teddy and I will hunker down in front of the fire this winter, surrounded by her artifacts and paintings. Books will be read, food cooked, wine drunk and good friends welcomed. We’ll walk, talk and share stories. We’ll miss her terribly but we’ll be OK.