Does such a project as this have an end? What becomes of the nomad once his wheels no longer roll down gypsy lane? Like a storm that has lost its wind this nomad walked into a room to behold a lady with black hair and eyes bright like stars flaring in the night.
Thus began the love affair with the lady in the city who appeared to love my quirky nature. Turbulent, calm, volatile and dazzling – the affair was there and to this day continues. M took my hand as we walked down a wet road on a Friday night and if the hands were physically parted – in a spiritual sense they never were, like two orbiting planets locked in an eternal revolution.
It was M’s idea to spend some time together – to escape to a hotel in the Ashdown forest. I drove the carriage, the vehicle whose purchase was long overdue. No trailers would be towed with this little car. But the mileage dictated the model and so the little Suzuki Splash would take us briskly to the Ashdown Park Hotel.
The concierge took our cases and lead us to the room with the soft bed and the marbled floor, and the view over a lake, and a forest and buildings aged with the grace of generations of wealth and power. We relaxed and explored the room. We walked the grounds of the castle and marveled at the trees of oak, alder and birch. We explored the local village of Forest Row before returning to the room, and preparing for dinner.
And in a hall with mannered waiters, chandeliers and bucolic oil paintings we feasted on the partridge while classical music emanated from the electric piano – soft and caressing the notes gave ambiance to the room like mist floating across a luminescent pond. Whoever thought dining could be such an art form in its own right?
And in the morning we packed the bags and paid the bill and left this grand hotel. So much to exchange in this transaction – a life of mud and wheels and ice, switched for this weekend to elegance and style and wealth and charm.