This Place

This place is a pleasant place.

People who lived here, things that happened here, have made a difference.

Not so much now, not any longer.

Maybe a clever child will be born here and do something special.

Now there are families raising children in two or three bedroom houses, driving to work every day to the nearby town.

There are people who have come here to live quietly and reflect upon their lives, or make a safe place for grandchildren when parents are busy.

There’s a big house just outside the village. It’s just been  bought by the manager of a hedge fund. He’s quite an important man in the City.

This village, like others, is on a ridge. Down below the villages are the wetlands. They are called the Levels.

These wetlands were once a seabed. Arms off the ridges stretch into the wetlands like the resting paws of a great cat. You can see where the sea-cliffs once were. The levels still flood in winter but by March the water is gone most years and the cows are put out to graze.

The levels were once a wilderness, a tangle of willows full of waterbirds. Into this wilderness, over a thousand years ago, fled a young king who went on to form a nation.

His name was Alfred.