|the entrance looking out to more yellow|
|that crop is as tall as me|
|Hens doing what they do best in an orchard scratching around|
I have written about Fairstead church before, tucked away along a small country lane, this church, like so many is slowly dying over time. The graveyard was neglected, with patches of cowslips already turning to seed. We had come for a picnic lunch behind the church, and small bumble bees flew in and out of the masonry of the church, maybe they were masonry bees.
After lunch we took the public footpath at the side of the church, heading down into an oil rape seed field. This crop is everywhere, the countryside a blanket yellow with trailing woods and lanes breaking up the colour. It is dry, very dry, we haven't had rain for weeks, the ground in the fields have that parched cracked appearance, the land and crops are desperate for water. It has brought on the wild flowers, but they are soon over.
We met a man on the path, he will, when the crop is off, look for traces of the Roman villa that must be around here somewhere. The church has roman tile in its fabric of brick and flint. It must obviously be an age old settlement here, there is a large farm next to the church, which would probably be the manor for round here, the villa could even be underneath it.