I came here with Q a few months after we’d got together, so fourteen years and about now. We hitched whilst still that was possible and got all the way into Alderley Edge. Because of a certain age as I am, I wanted to be near to the Weirdstone of Brisingamen. She only recently shown them was happy too, but happier for me who here was again the boy with wonder in his eyes. Because she cared, and still does.
I was eight I think when in junior school my teacher would of a Friday afternoon read us a chapter of Alan Garner’s quite wonderful novel. For what is considered a children’s story and with the trope of wizard, and dwarves and goblins it is still (and perhaps because of it) all the better. The tales it draws on are local, the places too – and all about here, on Alderley Edge. It’s a dark story for young ‘uns, and good. There’s danger and blood, and the Morthbrood witches don’t cackle much there in the houses now occupied by footballer’s wives. Little changes perhaps.
We were there and were turned away from the hoity-toity pub, no room at the Inn. But down the road and about the Edge and the White Horse was considerably better anyway. We slept in an enormous bed, the breakfast was if anything larger. Our host chatted away and when we left gave us a lift to the services, to hitch back home. But for two days we roamed the Edge and we found everything. We ate in the Wizard pub, we found his face in the rocks, the entrances to the mines and the servants of the Morthbrood who knew nothing of direction, or place, or tale. They would scowl and off the track the trees were very quiet.
We swore we’d return and yet as yet, we never have.
But my eldest daughter is old enough to hear the stories, my youngest not quite, but soon. When the world will be a little darker, a bit of early rural horror for young minds, who will listen doubtless rapt on this first step into tales of adventure, of danger and a hundred worlds like it. To read without cynicism, alone but not lonely, with a book then another, with the rain loud but unheard and their heads ever able to find the wonder.
Though Cadellin never came no matter how much we called.