Sunday, 14 October 2007

Rhossili beach - the adventure

The road is in my blood. I am never happier than when the miles are rolling past as I set out on some new expedition. A couple of years ago I set out on an very special adventure with a friend. We drove from his home in Anglia and headed west towards the lands of my birth in the midlands. We planned to drive through the gardens of the west in and around Evesham and on to Wales via Symonds Yat in Herefordshire, a small town built on and in the gorge with the great River Whye running through it. We had driven through Warwick , my home town and nearby Stratford Upon Avon. We stayed in Evesham for one night and fished the nearby river for pike and perch. The next day we experienced the most extreme storm which stopped the traffic dead. When the storm cleared we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Symonds Yat and casting a few lures.
Much later we passed through Swansea and into the Gower Peninsula. Bass fishing on the spectacular beach at Rhossili was my kind of Valhalla. Here I could imagine dragon headed long boats in the boiling surf, storm washed down from aborted landings on the east Anglian coast. Much of our journey had taken us through countryside very familiar to me and for my friend it was a chance to see where I came from. When we were in the vicinity of my home town I had ridden most of the roads on a bicycle with my father. We passed through what people call Shakespeare’s country. I am always impressed by the miles of thousands of hard wood trees in Warwickshire that give the whole countryside a vista like no where else I have been. I felt a great sense of nostalgia bubbling up with childhood memories. When I was young we travelled as a family all over and often drove out to places like Symonds Yat for the day. We were out most weekends on a series of motorbikes and sidecars all through my childhood years. Eventually we had a car which was acquired mostly for moving band equipment in the very early days of the EBB.
While other kids on the estate stayed mostly at home during summer holidays we were always headed west to Devon and or Cornwall for what was known as the Coventry fortnight. This was two weeks paid holiday for the local car workers and other factory workers which supplied and supported the car industry based in Coventry. I remember the excitement and happy chaos on a Friday tea time when the first task was getting all of the luggage for Mom and Dad and Steve and myself on a motor bike and side car. This had to keep us all going for two weeks under canvas. I hardly remember a summer holiday when we didn’t set out on these great and wonderful family expeditions to the west country. I remember a particular fish and chip shop in Bristol. We stopped there for food, usually just before the shop closed. Steve and I used to count cars and trucks on the way down, there were so few of them. Imagine trying to occupy the kids by getting them to count cars today.
We often arrived as a summer dawn broke on the western shores of places like Westward Hoe or Ilfracombe. The tent would be set up and as little kids we would be tucked up in our sleeping bags and would soon fall asleep, often with the sounds of surf in our ears and dream of playing on a golden beach. They were glorious days interspersed with minor setbacks and Mom and Dad getting soaked to the skin on return journeys. Occasionally the odd break down left just enough cash to make the return journey. I assumethis was the time when I developed “road lust”. I became a travel addict and later, being in a band catered for this perfectly as it did for my addiction for performing (showing off as Mom used to call it).
I still get those butterflies and feel the thrall of expectation just before an expedition down some road or another. I especially like night journeys and while I love good weather I love the grey wet days and brooding skies as the miles roll by.
Perhaps there is some gypsy in me. In any event I have to roam every now and then in order to feel foot lose and free. I have been on some wonderful camping and cycling days out with family and many good friends like Ramblin’ who is the perfect travel companion, as are all members of the EBB. The EBB once camped out in the snow during a stage of a tour of Norway. The constraints of modern living seem to limit the possibilities to indulge in as much roaming as I would like so I have learned, albeit grudgingly, to make the best of even a short expedition if the company is good and we can retain a child like enthusiasm for the coming adventure. It is always good to travel the high ways, tread the rolling hills, walk the banks of silver streams and to know these wonderful lands. On a lovely day like today I muse over the thought that now is time to hit the road perchance to run away and lose myself in a great adventure. I hesitate to evoke the old adage – never put off until tomorrow that which can be done to day - though it comes to mind. One of these days ………


Copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2007


Anonymous said...

John Steinbeck, in 'Travels with Charley', wrote of the envy in others when he spoke of his intended trip...'I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation - a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace away from Here.'
Your evocative words reminded me of this restlessness.

Peace on your travels.

Paul in the Dales

Anonymous said...

Luvly stuff. tell us more. Do you remember I-Spy books Rob? I always had a new one for holidays.


Anonymous said...

A wonderful vivid portrait and rather moving.Reminds me of travels in my mates first old car when we would all bundle in the old Rover and head out into the country on the weekend.Getting away from the west of London was a great adventure,maybe sleeping on the beach listening to the sound of the waves in the morning....happy days!Heading out there and going with the flow is simply wonderful.Thanks for sharing that Rob.

Anonymous said...

PS.I'll give you a wave if we pass on the road!

ramblinmad said...

Cinnelli Tyres ?!!!!?


ramblinmad x

Anonymous said...

This is the time.There is no time like now, never has been and never will. Go for it!

strummit said...

I guess I'm lucky enough to remember those days of the late 50s early 60s doing the same, holidays with Mum and Dad and two brothers, in an old Vauxhall, borrowed for a fortnight, off to the coast to enjoy sea. Even now the sea has that great fascination...
Its a great insight into your world Rob, something I've enjoyed through your music for 30 odd years and long may it continue.. and here's to the next gigs and that wandering