From my Sketchbook

This scene of a section of the village a little way from ours, is one I pass regularly on my morning walks. Today, I decided to quickly sketch it. Not much sign of Spring yet, just one tree in full blossom.

Champing The Grasses

This morning I stopped alongside a fence and listened to a horse grazing in the field. It was a beautiful sound, breathy and hollow with an echoing kind of chomp, punctuated now and then by the slight sound of the grinding of teeth. It was a lovely moment and I was transported back to some of the words of a favourite poem of mine, “The Listeners” by Walter de La Mare:

Is there anybody there? said the Traveller,   
   Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses   
   Of the forest’s ferny floor:
I loved, and still love, the phrase – “The forest’s ferny floor” I can go on saying it forever – “The forest’s ferny floor” – and I can hear his horse in the silence champing away at the grasses.

 

 

Morning Light

This morning’s walk:

The soft morning sunlight has this unassuming power to gladden the heart of things and to call them forth into the confidence of a new day. It’s not a glaring light shaking us into forceful wakefulness, but a gentle one, introducing and revealing the day with poise and with grace.

Christmas and Woodsmoke

The other day I took our little dog for his daily walk. As I made my way through our neighbourhood, I was suddenly greeted by the lovely aroma of woodsmoke. Some past residue of my Southern Hemisphere mindset found this rather mystifying – what does Christmas have in common with woodsmoke? Then, in a flash – but I’m in the cold English countryside and not only are the homes I’m passing filled with Christmas decoration, but also with, in some cases, burning fires in the lounges. I heard Forrest Gump gently whisper into my ear, “Christmas and woodsmoke, they ‘is’ like peas and carrots.”

A Misty Morning

A misty morning in Kent.

I love walking on misty mornings. The mist strangely muffles noise and everything is so still. It’s as if a white sheet of silence is cast over the countryside. So invigorating! Coming up this hill I just had to take this shot.

The Village Shop

This morning I walked over to our village shop to buy milk and a newspaper. I pushed the door open and the owner smiled and greeted me by name. It’s a good thing to have your name spoken through a smile, so I smiled back and greeted him by name and wondered if he felt the same as I did. A smile and your name always goes a long way in affirming again your right to be here.

On getting home, I sat down with a hot cup of coffee, opened my newspaper, left the small world of village life and plunged into the vast sphere of politics, social happenings and intrigue. I didn’t like what I saw.