Castle Combe, England

November 5, 2000

A quaint mediaeval English village with gentle rolling hills, a brook, sheep, a church, and, of course, a tavern give the watercolor scene of England's most picturesque area (so I'm told): the Cotswolds.

There's no castle in Castle Combe, it was taken down centuries ago. Just a decade ago, electric street lights and television antenna were taken down too, but for a historic movie shooting and they haven't been put back yet. It's raining, giving everything a new shine and making the B&B window lights a warm welcome as dusk approaches. A bunch of us arrived by bus (which must stay a bit out of town not to currupt the ambiance) and walked to the center. An old man slowly wisps down the street. We pass him, then he later emerges walking through the center as if unseeing and unseen. I feel a sense of guilt as the bus has brought brightly covered rain gear and giggly snap shooters to spoil his tranquil little village. The bus is going to leave soon and although I'd love to stay and wander, a slanted grin is on my face. I'm glad to vacate, like the antenna and street lamps, leaving the old man and Castle Combe the way it was made to be.

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