By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
Apologies for my absence, which has been due to the arrival of the thatcher, of whom, more another day.
The appearance of good weather after so much grey and cold has uplifted us all on Dartmoor.
The ability to open a door and not be too cold, to throw open windows, unused for such a long time, to breath air that is not stale and not perishing brings an inexplicable joy.
Walks with the dog have become a riot of colour, the purple hues of wild laneside flowers, the recent appearance of bluebells, the many colours of green leaves now appearing telling us how dull and grey our world had become.
One evening this week, the dog and I strolled down our hill and at the bottom, and for the first time this year, stood and watched the stream, which flows through our hamlet. We listened to the beautiful babble of a stream at rest from a long, hard autumn and winter. The old dog sniffed the new greenery and dared a paddle in warmer water. We strolled home to tea and crumpets with a feeling of bliss and great comfort.
An early morning stroll gave the dog and I a glimpse of an almost fairyland setting. On rounding the bend from the wonderfully rustic cottage which adorns the end of the hamlet, the dog and I saw, not only technicolour foliage, but there, such a surprise. Beyond the five bar gate, white and black lambs, tiny and gamboling about, mothers guarding this precious new life. The dog and I thought this the most marvellous sight. Around us, cars too busy to stop, too fast to be able to see this wonder, borne of spring, in a busy machine driven era.
What a relief, to be able to throw aside winter garments worn for far too long. Much as I love this fleece, a winter gift from the photographer, I shall be so pleased to wear a simple cotton shirt, and in the garden, be at my happiest, in a very old tee and a pair of hideous and much loved shorts.
Next to our garden, we have a new neighbour, who is even keener to be out than we are. We are much impressed by his very natty sun hat, very smart and chic. He is overjoyed at spring. He spurs the photographer of with tales of the huge vegetable crops he will grow now that spring has even reached our beloved Dartmoor.
On one day this week, our spring scene was marred. Standing on the road, taking time to talk to a fellow car driving hamleteer, the dog joining in from time to time with a sage nod of the head (this being a much loved donator of the odd chocolate biscuit), our insular universe was very disturbed by an infiltrator. This was the most enormous lorry I have ever seen in our single track lane. The driver gave us that “bloody yokel stare” and my fellow inhabitant did his very best to make his car very small. The lorry gave not an inch and my poor friend did his best, the lorry driver by now snarling with contempt, drove past. How he missed scraping the side of my friends car, I have no idea. The dog and I sighed a deep sigh and wished we had not so detained our friend. Can’t you even talk to a fellow in such a remote part of the country, without the outside world roaring and shouting above the sound of nature which so surrounds us all?
The dog and I returned to the photographer, who looking very sage and wise turned the kettle on for that much needed coffee, while the dog tucked into breakfast looking just a little sad.