By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
Being beset by bad weather is a challenge when you simply just want to be outside, however, given that most places were deep in snow, and not having any ourselves, we felt we simply had to make the most of it. The dog released and waggy tailed, we set off to see an unexplored part of our surroundings. Up the hill, so covered in clothing we could barely see, we passed our neighbours’ fields and telegraph poles.
Around to our left, only ever explored in a car, a barely known universe. Here, we see a small track leading to an unseen home, and there are more of those, all dotted about. So; some of the people who we know on a daily basis lived up this lane. There were empty fields, which had been in turn drowned and frozen, which were now brown and dry. There was scrub land and there were fields with horses.
Above everything else, we saw the earliest signs of this late spring. Amidst early winter lambs, now growing towards the mint sauce, were a small number of spring ones, running about and looking cheeky. Some were having great fun at play, chasing one another along the hedge tops. Most of the populace, who go to work early will recognise this hedge top gambol with some trepidation, sometimes stopping to lift another lamb back into its field!
All the time, and as we walked we were surrounded by mist, the hills towering and in a blue haze in the distance. It was all rather pleasant and unexpected, just ambling aimlessly is not something we are used to and it was very enjoyable. Here a farm, there a stream, a wonderful small granite bridge, a house, we knew well gushing its water supply back into the earth and granite ground, ready for use another day.
A cause of private amusement, possibly naughtily commented on out here in wild space, were the homes of neighbours from the south east, who having arrived to uncivilised surroundings had done their best to have a little corner of the south recreated in their own domain. Here, there was a large and lofty lamp post, possibly from West Kensington. Who could tell? How many reps could possibly get out in the wilderness to obey the sign instructing them to book an appointment before being seen. Anything goes really. Your castle really is your own and some dear neighbours do actually live in a castle and they treasure it accordingly.
The pinnacle of the walk is our arrival at our local. Yes, we still have a local, right out on the moor. We only have money for a drink and the photographer gropes in his pocket and finds enough for a whole pint for him and a half for me. A group next to us are having the most delicious meal. We have left over hot cross buns at home, but that’s not the same. The photographer looks wistful and says that next time we may be able to eat here.
Pint downed, we and the dog make our weary way back through the woods, we vow to do the five mile walk again, and opening our welcome back door, put the kettle on and settle down in front of the fire, of which, more next time.