New Years Day, a fresh start is what I promise myself every year. Always the same, broken Christmas lights atop the village lampposts. An arm and leg swinging, kicking out for all the world just like a wayward zombie. A grey, wet, malaise settles on the morning I need to seek some refuge in a nearby town. Ripon, a nice place, a normal town, a friendly town.
Today it seems a little strange or maybe just plain weird. Grey lifeless souls in human form wander round looking lost. Depressed, alone, the living dead. Hapless, helpless souls, gathering, wandering the street this New Year’s Day. Are they just tired, depressed, exhausted, folks? The phoney, baloney holiday. Way too long, too much booze, fighting, debt.
They gather in the supermarket café for company, sustenance and warmth. Are they staring at me, watching, waiting for the right moment to attack. Blue rinsers, middle aged couples, mothers with buggies. The malaise is back I move a little further into town.
A 1300-year-old church, fewer people than the café. Still it has the same lifeless faces moving slowly, stopping, staring. At last I find myself alone sitting in the crypt. Walls so thick, nothing can reach me here, no one knows where I am. Footsteps on the stone floor high above, my mind begins to wander.
I feel alive, refreshed alone. My life back in perspective. Deep underground in this ancient place. Buildings built for the glorification of God. Crafted by engineers, scientists, masons and carpenters. Craftsmen, warm-hearted human beings built this place. How many generations is 1300 years, all those people who have sat here. Thinking they were safe, I am the zombies don’t know I am here.
Except, what’s that? There are people coming down the steps. Why would an ancient crypt have CCTV? Oh blimey!