I have it in for bypasses – those ring roads around cities, towns and villages. I feel that they have half killed many lovely places and have knocked their hearts out with the building of out of town shopping complexes and the like.
Yes, I know they have eased traffic jams but …
Anyway, one of my walks that pretty much fits the Covid19 ‘no more than 2km from your home restriction’ is a loop that includes a chunk of Tramore’s bypass.
I never walk on it normally but we’re not talking ‘normal’ at present. I hadn’t quite worked out what exactly I had against it as a walking spot until yesterday when I went in the opposite way to usual and started with the old part of the town. That brings me passed my late parents’ house and the zillions of memories associated with them; across the top of Main Street, which always has me gazing down the steep hill to the beach; across Priests’ Road, with its looming church and houses I have known since I was tiny. It also includes a former sweet shop which makes me think of the day when I was three and waiting so excitedly to see Dad driving Mother home from hospital in our Morris Minor after a very close encounter with death.
On around the corner and there’s the entrance to Love Lane and the tennis club that was such a part of my life.
Up the steep Newtown Hill with its beautiful old walls and the place where there used to be a caravan site with terrific views of the sea. Mother and Father rented a caravan there every Summer in the early years of their married life as they had to vacate their rented house. They adored the caravan, even though I never saw Father as a caravan type of person as he was big into organising his own space.
As I head up the hill, there’s thoughts of all the roads to my favourite beaches on out the coast but alas it’s time to turn onto the bypass. So, yesterday, I saw how the walls changed from the shapely old stone walls to concrete blocks. The bypass is straight with no twists and turns to keep you wondering.
It backs onto gardens so there’s no keeping on eye on how plants are coming along; just the odd glimpse of clothes flying high on washing lines.
About half way along is a roundabout that makes you think everyone should have at least five pairs of eyes. One of its roads heads to what seems like one of the new town centres. All modern and ‘busy, busy …’
The last lap brings me back to near our place. It includes newish houses and some that have been there for my forever.
This is the key, I think, the bypass holds no memories for me. It isn’t a road of my life as it will be for kids of today who will remember having their first cycle there or a first kiss.
I guess few of us move entirely with the times when it comes to place. Rather, we see familiar places in the guise that evokes the most for us.
If I live long enough, maybe, just maybe, the bypass, now about 20 years old, will become etched into my heart and mind’s eye.