Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mind Walk - Lansdown

This is Prince Rupert, with his poodle Boyes, and I love to imagine him prancing the fields on the Lansdown looking down to Bristol and battle....
Well I changed the header in anticipation of spring, it is an old photo of a favourite walk to Langridge barrows across the battle field where the Lansdown battle was fought, Cromwellians against the Royalist.
This walk took you down an old green lane the banks in summer thick with wild flowers, along the stony path upon which no doubt the Romans would have walked and possibly earlier the Bronze Age people as they moved from one settlement to the other.
Winter hangs heavy on the soul, outside a dull leaden sky, the paths are wet with that silent almost invisible rain, we were going to London to see an exhibition but it has been called off, much to my relief as trips are always so expensive! LS retires to the studio finishing off an old job that was put away years ago.  It is a 'pillow book' a scroll that needs it sheets re-attached as the papers cannot be renewed because of the wrong glue used when it was first made.  A 'pillow book' is of course the 'how to' bridal manual given to naive daughters by their Japanese mothers on what to expect in marriage, a sort of sex manual, not sure I would give one to my grand daughters but still.  There is still some work that belongs to this client/friend from Cyprus that needs finishing and he will be with us in April I think to collect  But back to magical walks.......

 So I brood on the landscape of Somerset, its rich fertile luscious space, the hills that I walked for years.  Moss with his ball in front losing it down the banks of the wood as we wander through, deep into blackberry thickets, the deer standing silently amongst the trees rears his beautiful head.  Then out into the open field, checking the bullocks are on the far side. Over the great stone stile and a scene of folding hills and combes, that you catch your breath with the wonder of it.  Down past the quarried sides, the squawk of pheasants loud and clear on the air and then through the steel gate to the lane.

I had trained Moss to go on the other side of the fence round these fields and the bullocks that are kept their every year.  He never took any notice of them but they noticed him and would follow us, once I had to face off a good 20 of them, it was like playing 'grandma's footsteps' the silent creep of them behind.
But back to the lane you wander along for about half a  mile and then turn through the little wooden latched gate through a ploughed field and then into a 'special place'.  This field is left to pasture, you can feel it is loved, there is an old wooden bench, which has rotted away over the years.  How they got it there always left me wondering.  Here you will find cowslips hidden in the grass in their time and later wild orchids dot the slope.
White campion 

If you sit on the chair the Langridge barrows will be behind, to the right will be an old badger burrow and in front will be the view towards Freezing Hill and the lynchets on top, which may be prehistoric. Below you a small hamlet of houses quietly sits in the hollow of the hill, a very peaceful scene, and if you sat there long enough deer would occasionally appear in the fields below.

Yesterday I booked a holiday cottage at Minions, Cornwall for April, so another adventure begins, this time looking for a house, even found one on the moors tucked into a tiny village but of course it will probably be gone over time.......
Yellow rattle


  1. A house to buy? How exciting. What a delightful walk and so lovely to see those spring flowers. I'm feeling like spring might never come here at the moment. It's not desperately cold - just seemingly dead, plant-wise. I have some Narcissi and iris bulbs in the house, but there's no point in planting them out - they just seem to die!

    1. Hi Em, well just houses to look at on the net, plus using the Google little man on Google Earth, to potter around the villages...Pansies have lasted all winter here, no true frost but I do hope it does not turn cold later on.

  2. Delightful post Thelma and written by a real country lover. I hope your house hunting goes well.

    1. Hi Pat, This is the time of year when I want to get out and walk and start seeds growing, probably I am anticipating too early as usual....

  3. Photos of green grass and wildflowers much appreciated as we hunker in against the ongoing freezing temps, unusual to this area, we are told.
    Lovely prose--a gentle meander.

  4. How I enjoyed your walk and memories. It is such beautiful countryside around Bath. So it is going to be Cornwall and not Solva then, that you both retire too. How exciting - so much archaeology to explore and that coastline . . .

    Those flower photos have lifted my spirits tremendously - they are what we need on these grey damp January days.