One station before the end of the line every person seated near me stands up and files off as if on cue.  I appear to be the only one on the train actually going to Lichfield.  It occurs to me that Lichfield, being fairly small, is probably not a common everyday destination for most locals. I am a tourist out of tourist season and it’s beginning to make me feel just the slightest bit out of place.

Traveling during tourist season, visiting visitor packed museums and no longer serene cathedrals, I often find myself grumbling under my breath about how much I loathe tourists.  But I’m beginning to sense that being surrounded by other people like myself gives me a certain feeling of belonging.

After hopping off the train I scuffle my way along the platform, check a bulletin board to find the time I should be back by and then I’m off.  Outside the station I jam my hands in my pockets and walk.

I wander, visiting a few nice parks and gardens, the local cathedral, a chapel, a hospital, a friary and a few heritage sights. Each place I visit is marked by a certain serenity and I do not leave any place unmoved by the stillness there. A small orchestra is practicing in Lichfield Cathedral. The conductor doesn’t seem too happy, but I think they sound phenomenal.

Heading for the train station I meander through the tangle of local shops in town. It will be Mother’s Day tomorrow here, and dotted here and there in between a farmer’s market, drug stores and coffee shops there are colourful street vendors’ booths offering specialty cards, bouquets if flowers and locally-made costume jewellery. I stop at an old-fashioned candy shop and buy two pound’s worth of dolly mix because it reminds me of my mother. It’s much sweeter than I recall it being and I can barely manage to finish a small fraction of what i purchased. I wish my mother were there to share it with me.

-Written on Saturday March 9th, 2013




That cathedral looks a little bit like a Disney castle, doesn’t it?  Like Cinderella’s, maybe?



About Helen (etaunknown)

An undergrad at the University of British Columbia, studying Anthropology and all the kinds of history they didn't teach me in school (concentrations in Indigenous and Environmental History(s)), my blogs are mainly places where I talk about academia, travel, and writing. I've been blogging in one form or another for the last 7 years, from angsty teenage poetry (no, I won't link you to that particular blog) to thoughts on religion, books, music and academia. I've been writing for as long as I can remember, and while I use my two main wordpress blogs as places to post a lot of my writing, I'm also busily at work on a novel (or three), some longer narrative essays, some short stories and as ever, some poetry. If you want to know more, please email me at
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