Four Hundred Yards, One Left Turn and Two Right TurnsPeople ask the way to Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain? There is no road that goes through....
How can you hope to get there by aping me?
Your heart and mine are not alike.
You go out the house, and turn right and then right again. Then you go down the road to the lights. Then straight over past the library, then turn left at the Farm. Then carry on to the end of that road and the shop's there on the corner.
You go out the house, turn right, past Vera's. She lives next door. Then past Pat's next door but one, then turn right and there's the tyre yard on the right that they've been doing up for ever since I moved in here and sometimes start at 7 in the morning and wake you up drilling even though Pat says they've to wait until after 8 so they don't wake up the neighbourhood. Which they do. Then you get to the cafe, who serve egg and chips and grab a piece of bread (already buttered) out of a blue and white tin with BREAD written on it. Went there with Mum, and later Vic (egg and chips both times) and both times admired the mural which is mainly green. Then over the main road and the entrance to the station. I think someone was stabbed there last year, but I may be wrong about the location. Its best to cross on the left here, where there's an island. The traffic is quite heavy. Then past the library where Vera's been going since she was 13 and must have read all the books by now that must be 60 years and its only a branch library and where Matthew is learning welsh. Then you turn left at the old farm (although you wouldn't guess) and down past an ex-girlfriend's house (not sure which house but I don't think it's on the left, and where one of the team who went with Shackleton to Antarctica used to live) and cross over the road that Mike and Claire live on and where Pas used to live before he went back to Australia and emailed for a while and then Pete moved to just where Pas was living in Australia (some kind of hippy town, wooden houses on the beach) but they'd never met when they both lived in Cardiff so I didn't think it was worth mentioning. Then on down to the shop. They have most things you could want in there it just looks small from the outside.
You go out the door and turn right well you can't turn left as that's a wall. Ignore all the litter which collects there because it's a dead-end and the wind whips all the crisp packets for miles around into a little pile which gets picked up every Friday morning by a man from the Council with a stick with pincers on the end and I don't know why he wears gloves as he never has to touch the stuff. And ignore the bits of render on the pavement which have been there since they installed a damp course and every morning think I should sweep up the neighbours will think I'm untidy and every night when I get home I forget to but at least I don't sweep my bit of pavement every morning without fail like the old lady on the next street mopping the pavement it even when it was icy and I nearly fell on my arse. Down past the house where there used to be a dog which would sit outside the front door when it was nice weather but I haven't seen for ages and I think it might have died. Then you turn right at the corner and it looks like they've shaved off the corner of the house itself, maybe to make cornering easier although I've never found it a problem myself, as a pedestrian you usually have plenty of notice of corners. Past the spot where someone dumped two red armchairs a couple of months back and they (the armchairs) sat on the pavement looking like they only wanted for someone to bring a telly out and start watching, right there in the street. There's a school on the left and a sign saying this area is for the quiet enjoyment of tenants no ball games. Over the road where the rug shop is and they've got a new bay tree in a pot which looks artificial and isn't but probably should be what with the car fumes. Then it's the second left after the bus stop and telephone box placed like some kind of pedestrian chicane. It's at the end of that road you'll see the buckets hanging from hooks and brushes and mops in a giant umbrella stand. At the front is the household stuff, buckets and what not and good rubble bags that don't rip (unless you put glass in them and don't wrap it first). And at the back (well the front from where you're coming from) is the hardware stuff where if you only want one of whatever it is you want, they'll rip open the pack it and split the price.
Jennie told me a story about the hardware shop. Someone else had told it to her. She said that the shop stands on the site of an air raid shelter from the war. And that one night during an air raid when lots of people had come out of their houses to go into the shelter like they were supposed to, a bomb hit it and everyone in the shelter died. She said that the people who run the shop don't like to talk about it but there's a little plaque to commemorate, at the top of the stairs, near where they store the wood. I've been meaning to look for it when I go there for stuff. I always forget, trying to remember whether they were 35mm or 45mm countersink screws I needed and do I really need my own float I could just borrow Mike's again they are nearly £10 after all and I'll probably only use it once or twice.
Stefhan Caddick is an artist with an interest in psycho-geography