"Why don't you know more of your own birthplaces? You're all in the ends of the earth, it seems to me...you have seen men and cities...(but) you don't know your own lanes and woods and fields."
London is a vacuum, sucking in jobs, tourists, money, and people from the surrounding country, hugging them close and rarely letting them go. Everyone needs a break from the ear splitting noise and stomach churning stress of the City though.
Without sniffing out that rare £8 train to the coast, £30 will see you an hour from the M25 and the green green grass of home. A straight line North, cutting through the Garden Cities of the commuter belt, out to the flat fenland beyond.
This is East Anglia, just. The home of the partridge, horse worshippers, tractor drivers, mockney wide boys who never left home, and Stepford estates built to contain the spillover of humanity from fifty miles down the track.
Here, the internet runs slow, but the weight of the world still squeezes the village green. News of escaped Libyans running to Tesco nestle between line after line of nuisance neighbours and shed burglaries in the local rag. You wouldn't know it though. Trainers on, a run through flat brown fields, out to the quiet unmarked Tarmac and village names of native origin, mispronounced by those foreign visitors from Essex.
The tide here is a slow one, it washes up a new conservatory, a new fence, and a couple of new developments, from time-to-time. A bombshell for the locals. Of no consequence to those three or more miles away. The spinning wheel of pub twister continues. The Hoops on blue, The Belle on red. All switched round by Christmas, with a new coat of paint, and a new curry on a Tuesday. The only significant memories of the past plastered on the wall, the rest, locked in the cupboard of a local museum. Even Robinson shrugged his drink stained nose and left.
Oh, I've travelled boy. He comes Leeds down the motorway in a car. Still, there's no better stop than home.