Travellers we were. It was early June and we were heading to the Lakes District, Cumbria, planning a stopover in Penrith. On the way we encountered some other travellers.
The traffic had all but stopped .To most it was a nuisance but I was excited and in awe to be a spectator of a centuries old pilgrimage.
We followed the caravan convoy through town and later passed encampments along the road verges. What we had observed was the annual gathering of gypsies for the Appleby Horse Fair. King James 11 had signed a Charter in 1685 allowing them to meet annually near the River of Eden to sell goods and livestock. the location ,where Appleby is located.
As the vardos trundled through the town, hooves clip clopping, it took us back to a time when it was possible to live off the land. Gypsies have a bad press, now as in past times, influenced by centuries of prejudice and distrust that sees only flaws and not the rich heritage of their culture; even so we still romanticize about that dark eyed musician who enchants with his wild music, or wistfully wish we, too, were sitting by a campfire whose sparks leap out to join the stars in the velvet night as the dancers twirl endlessly to tunes of love, life and freedom.
As this came back to mind a little gypsy girl came and pulled a my heartstrings for she knows how to hold and read hearts.