Chester is about 20 miles south-south-east from Liverpool, as the crow flies. It traces its history back to the Romans. This is as good a time as any to point out the irony of some of the lyrics in “Rule Britannia” – the part that says, ‘Britons never, never will be slaves.’ Well, when the Romans were in Britain, the Britons were slaves, and they were slaves for a really long time. The Romans founded Chester around 2,000 years ago and they didn’t leave until 400 years later.
The Romans left a few things behind when they de-camped. So, Chester is the only city with an intact Roman Wall surrounding it in all of Britain. It also has a really big Roman amphitheatre, which is still being excavated. As a matter of fact, archaeologists keep finding more Roman artifacts all the time.
But, that’s not why I was thinking about Chester. Chester happens to have some of the best 17th century timber-framed buildings. Also, during the Industrial Revolution a series of canals were dredged. This added a whole new feeling to the city, and these are the parts I enjoy the most. When we came out of the Frog and Nightingale pub (after an excellent meal), we walked on the quayside along the canal. It was here we saw these swans. All swans in England, that are free, belong to the Queen. Seems like an oxymoron, but don’t go messing about with them. HM is very serious about her swans.
Our friend Emlyn has swans, but they’re his swans. So there.
Please give what you can to Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders).
*"The walls of this town are full of renown, and strangers delight to walk round 'em, but as for the dwellers, both buyers and sellers, for me, you may hang 'em or drown 'em" - Jonathan Swift (you had to know that Swift would have a different take on things).