Thursday, 12 July 2012

Myths with passion

Today began in sunshine and ended in rain, with plenty of grey weather in between.

That weather reflected the range of emotions we encountered in the people we met today. 

The shop-keeper angry that the arrival of super-markets had brought about the closure of local shops and the emptying of high streets - no more does Violet the Wool ply her trade. 

The cheerful milkman surviving on the loving loyalty of his customers. 

The jovial farmer tending his sheep, defiantly surviving whatever nature or the state can throw at him.

Older people enjoying valleys companionship in all its warmth and laughter,

while young women sadly but determinedly spoke of working hard to get out of the valley where they see no future for themselves.

The despair in the face of the factory manager who couldn't let us chat with her employees because she didn't even know if the factory would still be open next month and they were all afraid.

Maybe these stories confirm myths about the valleys, but they are myths with faces, myths with voices, and those faces and voices are not old and dead, but very much alive and feeling.

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