306.March 1

Nottingham, UK

I made M&M cookies and then Mexican food today.


Birmingham, UK

I am passing through a valley just south of the Brecon Beacons. The views here from the train are clear, wide, and incredible. The Black Mountains to the north, and passing three castles to the south. We just passed through Abercavvenny, where I played with the idea of getting out, renting a bike, and going to all three castles in the countryside. But I would like to get to Birmingham in time to plan something and get a place to stay. Perhaps I couild even consider a trip to Nottingham for the evening, if my host sister's are still around, but we'll see.

I'll try to get a hold of Jody, a woman I dated at Nottingham, as well, but I don't think there is any chance of that. I better enjoy the mountains while I still can.

All is slowly levelling into rolling hills now. A few jet trails criss crossing in the blue puffy cloud sky at one pm.

For some reason, I just had a pan flash idea of killing the old lady in front of me and melting down her marriage band and engagement ring, depositing her bones out in the green sheep fields around the train tracks. But now the landscape is becoming more civilized, and I shall have to be too.

There are rain slits across the windows now. We are passing under darkened bellies of clouds, the moon is very close to the sun. I can see it through a cloud. Now the high banks along the train tracks prevent my sight.

Sadly enough, I am no longer in Wales. Hereford, just on the border. Should be in Shrewsbury soon. Alphaline is the train that runs this area. Many people are boarding here. This trains terminus is Manchester. I still must buy Sam a Manchester United Hat if I can find one. Who else did I promise something? Don't know.

Here we are on our way out of Hereford. A pile of slug bugs scrapped and no one to hit for it that won't hit back for other reasons.

Maybe the ringlady. She has flowers and like many others, she has the yellow doffydil. The Welsh national St. David's Day flower. I just surmized when I realized what flower it is.

I should have grabbed one. But I shine with enough bright yellow Daffyd for any and all of that. Someone just set his bag down after I moved over. Even "Scuse Me" and "Cheers mate".

I prefer my back looking view at Wales, as all ahead is black under surely storming thunderheads. I am entering blackness and leaving bliss, a warm summers day. The blue sky was much apprecieated. I am ready to leave now. I believe I always am. Any place is only as good for any time I stay. I make the most of every space I think. At least I take the most of what I believe suits me. I just passed through a tunnel and emerged with nearly all the sky covered up darkly. And now we enter rain. A terrible rain. My dry day is leaving and the passing river is dimpled by the miniscus drops. But I see now we are emerging from that again into a bright hued blue.

And a rainbow, just over the hills to the east, escapes behind a tree. I will wait and watch.

A happly glimpse of bended light. We are now in Leominster. This day it's so fitting, with all my signs passing by. It is not so obvious in writing that all these things are passing as minutes. I do not stop writing, on a train the landscape changes without the time to change thoughts or words. I do wish I had a map of this area so I would know where I was.

Small shetland ponies, nobbling in the fields the dusky glasses. I would like time for tea and buiscuits before I go on to Birmingham. But that would likely be a long walk. I am so glad Kate allowed me to wash my clothes. And that she hung them all out for me. So nice. I 'll call her before I go.

Now we are in a bright open patch of sunlit blue sky and green warmth of grass. I couldn't have imagined this beautiful face behind that dark mask of clouds we'd earlier transversed.

There are still ominous swaths of clouds ascending to the south-east. There are tiny scratches like corrogation in a small patch of sky now behind us. LIke the lines of an unwashed brush, dryly. Scratched across an otherwise fluffy canvas.

Now in Ludlow, after some time of thought to reread this page. I don't think I will have time for Nottingham, nor if I even want to go. An older unseen man is choking or vomiting to death near the back of this carriage. I hope all is well, but I suspect it is not.

"if they weren't there to be eaten, they wouldn't be there" Animals . We are all over.

We are passing the Ludlow race track now, for horses I suspect. I remember going through there on my way for Wales the last two times. Perhaps to Ireland I mean.

The sky is full of Dinosauric images. Recreated, recanted in unrehearsed patterns over the centuries of light, heat and moisture. We are still following a small twisting riverbank.

I don't suspect it to be the same one, but it could be. We've just passed a lovely castle with an english heritage flag flying above, I think we are near Shrewsbury. Wrong. Craven Arms. Half an hour to go.

A balloon-like oak is passing and exploding with only tiny extensions. A fence around to protect it. How Ancient?

I see a standing stone up on that ridge, all alone, don't know when it was placed there. Highest hill to the SE. I think NE of Ludlow.

The tiny river is just below us now, still on my side. I am so glad now I paid the 1 pound 70p for the different route, everything has been beautiful. And new.

Now snow covered hills are rising up on both sides of us. And there is snow on the ground, near the tracks. Must have fallen today. Church Stretton, we are one stop away from Shrewsbury.

A pack of Boy Scouts or the like are getting on now. I hope to God they reserved seats. But it really doesn't look it. They are coming into our car. Poor little shytes will have to stand.

The snowfall must have been recent, as the meltings are still dripping from obvious gutters. The hills are properly powdered. And a large toothed child shambles on through. Actually, he coasted like a ghost with a gait.

These hills are ruggedly beautiful. Razorbacks with snow spines. But we will quickly leave that all behind I believe.

Now there is no more snow on the ground, only visible on the disappearing hills. It looks as warm as ever out in the hilly splendor.

A young blonde with a low buttoned pink oxford glances this way and that with open lips, closing her eyes when the sun bathes them. She profiles herself to one most often, a pouchy nose, very lovely from the side, slightly silly from the front, she strokes her short neck length hair, all held as a halo, back from bangs, she bites her bottom lip on the side, her nails, she looks peaceful and breathelessly away from me because by now she knows. She can't leave those lips sit straight, she must wring them, and tolly her tongue along their insides.

A decorative silver ring on her right engagement finger. Her eyes are squinted with wonder looking now always away, fearful of catching my awkward gaze. I caught her. Very bells, a french twisted full front look.

Time has passed. I have just finished a pint of Burtonwood Bitter in a pub called the Anglian Vaults or some such name. I petted a very soft black dog there. The pubs supporting timbers were painted black, and there was a dart board, but I could not locate my darts in my rucksack in time to throw any of them.

So I drank quickly in the twenty-five minutes available and went back to the station, platform 5. I would like some food of course. The likely chance that I could just miss a train, if it was on time and I wasn't is everpresent. But they seem to be unusually full this Sunday. The Boyscouts have joined on this train as well, and they are filling just as much useless space as they were on the last.

I've got a sleeping drugged out and eye open blue jeanjacketed purple and orange striped joggers suit next to me. She is eternally slouched and listening to a minidisc player. It is a cute little apparatus. But I more wish I could see if she was or not, so hunched over on another jacket, like a little baby sheep, she is. The two girls behind me are cute enough, they are kind and sweet to me too. So I am quite happy they were here when I misunderstood the fellow that left my seat when I arrived.

The flat stretches of land are like farm lands near Northfield, MN, except with the usual hedgerows. And red brick and slate-shingled houses. Of course they all have the same shape and windows, as you would expect here.

I've just decorated the front inside cover of this book with a Celtic design of my imagination. It was a woman dressed in Romanesque attire. Such an influence it seems to have in Wales, and in Britania. The language (written) the roads, the government. All and all, Rome lives on here. The woman next to me, her skin glows, shimmers, looks very unwashed but in that way healthy and appealing. She has now lifted her head for the first time it seems.

What in Birmingham can I do? I must make some phone calls and see if certain trips would be worthwhile considering I must be back to the international airport at 10 am. There is one of those scouts that can't cease sneezing. It is the football championship time in the UK. My seat partner here has her hair in a ponytail held by some kind of shower ring holder. I will get to Nottingham far too late. I couldn't even go out on a Sunday. And Kate is no longer there. I'll check times and such, but I think the only thing I might possibly arrange is to meet Bob Larson.

The catatonic woman stares out the window now, she caught my glance I do believe, but nothing moves her. Now passing another horse racing track down below. There are so many of them in this area, especially along the tracks. I wonder. I am too old now for who I am. Whom I want to be. I am glad I had that pint, life seems to be noisy now, and moving faster.

A dark very short haired woman is feeling, comtemplating with her fingers, the place where her nose and eyes cross like a dagger hilt and shaft on her face. She is dressed in a black fur coat with fluffy feathers of a ruffled raven shooting out her wrists and her collar. She has small gold stud earings in her puffy ears. Her nose is stony but cut clean, with an earthy swelling as it meets her face.

We are passing the quick moving trees of a surrounding wood. Bewildering the eyes . Her pinkened skin is a healthy white, no shade from other but active streams of blood, close to the surface.

A very small lower lip, thin, but the upper is the crown of a great queenly magesty, perched, hunterly.

The sky is blue to the trains left, and grey to its right. We are soon to change at Wolverhampton, I assume. I should have inquired previous to now, but I am always ill prepared it seems.


I am leaving the hills of Swansea now, by train. I walked along the wet sand packed beach on my way back to the Rail Station. I've had a truly good time, although I did scare myself a few times.

The Balti was left on my table so the food could remain hot (at the indian restaurant I last enjoyed.) Saint David's Day today.


My seat partner shuffles, and I just stood up and let her out. She was quite worth standing for not that I see. But dress like a rare strange bird. And the raven has the smallest of eyebrows. Ah, Wolverhampton. So many have come and gone here that I will greatly miss. And the name speaks unusual volumes. All the attractive women seem to be leaving here. But some are coming back on. Not nearly as mysterious.

What shall I do when I get into Birmingham? 20 minutes someone says. Tops. Perhaps I should spend the night at the Airport. But it doesn't sound like a good way to end a trip. Think of New Orleans...that was hell. But it seemed like the only option then. Should have just called a taxi from a hotel, though. Should have stayed the whole time in a guest house. When there are two people, hostels haven't the charm, because there needs too much arranging of meeting places and times. And then there are no perks at all. Here we leave Wolverhampton.

A Virgin train is stoping as we leave the station. Wolverhampton sprawls before me with stacks, and buildings. Very new from this view. Very ugly highrises all over here sweeping their way with putrid colors out until the suburbs. Which are older, and still ugly. The city must have sprung up in the 60's.

Grass is a shock in contrast as we leave the city. The entire place was a nightmare of industrial society. I wish to hell we'd leave it all behind us. Please, soon. I won't write until Birmingham. After I figure out my plans. Happy St. David's Day.

My last evening, sitting on a wrought iron based stool in the "Yard of Ale" on New Street in Birmingham. It's in the same building as the station, but it is not enterable except by the street. It is over-loud here with bad music, mix stuff. I don't know if people start dancing, but that is what the music is intending. Not at all what I had in mind, but it serves for a pint of Caffrey's Irish ale. I have such a full stomach that I shouldn't be putting anything else into. But I really need a drink before leaving this island, and since I decided to stay awake in the airport tonight. That means I must leave here shortly after 22:00 at the latest. But at 19:30, I think I'll be gone at the bottom of this.

The place says "SMART DRESS ONLY". I don't know if what I have on is smart or not. But I got in with my big ruksak on my back, and I am guarding it now. There is a chimney or similar support that I am now writing near, with wood around it for setting drinks on. Ashtrays too. The disco driver is no comedian, but he is pursuing his humour. I think my pint will end very soon. I know the price I'll pay for all of this recklessness. I will get horribly sick, and my muscles will all tighten until I can no longer move an inch.

YARD OF ALE has Sky TV. Todays cricket match is playing. "I get knocked down" is now the music beating. They never talk about Ales, bitters, or anything that would be British alcohol, except the cider, whisky, and the lager. Only an inch left of my Caffrey's and I will disappear. The place is filling up much more and that is always my cue to leave.

I checked out a Comfort Inn and they offered me a room for 35 pounds near the station. But their I'd have to get up in the morning and all that. But my flight isn't until 10:00. It might have worked, but not entirely worth it, I felt. Long haired with a wool cap, an old fluffy man shambles in. I'd better go, I'm now bored.

Another train, actually, the last one I'll take, probably for a few years, at least one. Sad. Perhaps. But that means I can take life as it comes at me, not as I leap toward it. I am feeling quite in need of sleep. Perhaps I should have taken the hotel for 35 quid, but since I'm alone, and not wanting to waste this alone time on just any bed. It's just been reported to us that we will be running approximately 30 minutes late. How nice, I can sit in a train even longer. It's quite restful here. And comfortable.


We are looking for a place to stay while in Belize from March 21-29.

We fly into Belize City Airport (BZE) American Airlines flight 2193 on

March 21, arriving at 2:55 PM. We would be very interested in Bungalow

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on American Airlines flight 2104 at 2:25 PM. We would be interested in

one of your packages, the 5 day or the 7 day, or perhaps just staying

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the best fit for us.


Spring Grove, MN

I'm baking bread, this time, just white sourdough. I had dinner with Rachel and Jill at Don Jose's, then came home and played with our new Pentax K-7 camera. Now I'm reading The Sable Quean until the bread is done.