We live in Weston-super-Mare, in the small village of Uphill, just to the south of the town and separated from it by a golf course, school playing fields, a castle/manor and its grounds and the beach. The town is situated on a low area, once marshlands, between a rocky hillside and promontory called Worlebury and Uphill hill which is at the end of the Mendip hills with only Brean Down projecting into the sea beyond.
Brean Down from Uphill hill
The east side of the town is bounded by the M5 motorway which zooms past down into Devon to Exeter. There is a big junction, junction 21, just at Weston as the main A-road to Bristol crosses it. There is a huge, massive roundabout with the roads elevated and a bridge across the motorway. Inside the roundabout it’s like a little wilderness, and although I’m sure council workers come and tidy it up from time to time, there are mature trees, shrubs, bushes, brambles, wild flowers, grasses, and at quiet times – early in the morning for example, if you are stopped by the traffic lights, you can hear birds tweeting in this literal island cut off from elsewhere by roads not water.
I’m sure other people have thought the same thing, but I imagine a person, or maybe people if the island was big enough, living there, unseen by any of the passers-by, racing round the island, exiting or entering the motorway, travelling to or from Bristol and Weston.
I had the inkling of a story about it – as I am sure other people have had. However, today I read that a person had been discovered, sadly dead, in a tent, somewhere about here. It might not have been in the island undergrowth, it might have been in the other wild areas along the road leading to the motorway, but somewhere a person died. Most tragically of all, he died over a year ago, and no-one found him until now.
This man must have been living rough, as it’s called, in a tent; he didn’t come from Weston but had been here for a couple of years. He came originally from the Midlands, but even more sadly, police have been unable to trace his relatives.
In the story which was inkling its way around my rain, my person would have been very much alive, and living a rather pleasant and private, albeit tough life in his little island home. Truth is harder, tougher and sadder.
My featured image, by the way, was taken as we whizzed along the motorway.