Friday, September 15, 2006

Blain - never again (OK, only rhymes in english)

In the last few days I have walked through electric storms and torrential rain, been bitten on almost every inch of my face and body by mosquitoes and acquired a most peculiar and painful red rash on one side of my neck. And I was just expecting sore feet. Feeling particularly savage about Loire Atlantique as I start to write up my notes - the canal was filthy and 'management' consisted of the most hideous architecture imaginable (I have called it 'toytown urinal meets swiss chalet twee,' a description which errs on the side of charity) and slashing down as many trees along the towpath as possible (to be replanted, of course - with firs!). Also in sour mood with the town of Blain where the chateau managed to close itself for no apparent reason (apart from my arrival) after I had arranged to spend half a day there to see it. There is little to do in Blain for that length of time - sitting on a bench studying a street map was the best value: 'rue Wootton Basset' (no, seriously) and also the allée Nominoe leading into the impasse Erispoe, which is a great joke for Breton historians. As poetry has recently re-entered my life (thanks to a very special man) after a long absence, I think I shall begin work now on an Ode to Blain ...

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