Because passing £2.99 to the man in a scarf, I took the book unopened out of the shop and it fell open at page 12. Page 12 being a poem about Loders (in Dorset). But it wasn't. It was a poem about my all time favourite location in the British Isles, Eggardon Hill. So I wonder. What made me walk out at lunchtime for the first time in months, what made me walk past the Oxfam window, and what made me buy this book unopened, only for the page to open at a poem about Eggardon Hill? Some may say it is coincidence, but I wonder, is there something else going on out there, we just don't understand what fate can send in our direction. Before I move onto the rest of the posting, herewith this poem (apologies about the formatting, it's gone a bit haywire)
When frost lies thick on Eggardon, And every pool begins to freeze, From Mickleford to Nettlecombe, And hills are hung with sparkling trees.
O, then, to loders we must go, Before the world is drowned in snow, When mists fall low on Eggardon, And morning reddens sea and sky.
From Vinney Cross to Powerstock, The flocks of silent starlings fly, O, then, as evening breathes farewell, We take the rutted road to Bell.
When stars shine clear on Eggardon, And field and fold are hushed with sleep, From Yondover to Askerswell, The lanterns burn for wandering sheep
O, then, for us those lanterns burn, And, one by one, we shall return.
I think the maltesers must have been alcoholic versions, as there is no reason why the above photo would have been taken unless warming intoxicating vapours had been inhaled in my direction. I just hope you don't come across a wood nymph like that in the dark woods.....
.....it was probably a mix of mulled wine and hypothermia which meant I caught Julie talking to a pile of logs. She said she was sniffing the resin as she loves the scent of pine. Apparently that's more acceptable than talking to logs. I shall say no more.
But we did find a funny fungi in the forest. Is it a fungi? I'm not entirely sure what it is. At first I thought it was snow, but then realised it wasn't. It was quite delicate and broke off the beech twig it had erupted from quite easily, but was quite soft and feather like to the touch. Does anyone know what this is?
I apologise unreservedly for this photo. It was the only way to keep warm. This was yesterday, December 7th and we were out for a 3 hour, 6 mile or so walk to Great Bedwyn and back. Blimey it was cold, with the temperature never getting above minus 4 all day, Julie couldn't work in this weather, I had a day off, but above all it was absolutely stunning out there, so off we went.
The first part of the walk is along the field edges next to Julies house and towards Wilton about half a mile away. It was so cold, the bridge of my nose was in agony, like a knife being pushed through it. But the scenery, even though foggy was fantastic. Julie couldn't wait for me faffing about taking photos, so she walked on. I can't blame her.
Now there's a sight you don't often see, a footpath sign decked in Christmas lights!!
But the scenery kept on being the star of the show. I'm lost for words now.