Saturday, October 10, 2009
Home. With Sloes & Violet Sky.
It's a sunny 18 degrees celsius in London when I land. So much for boots and coats and thick jerseys.
I love the drive home from Heathrow. On a Saturday, on the M25, it's easy peasy & we're home in forty minutes.
The dog and I walked on the common. The paths are almost the same as when I was a child, but the signage is better. The Ashridge National Trust has taken a parental interest in keeping people on the footpaths and horses on the bridle paths, so there are helpful arrows at each junction. Doesn't sound very wild countryside, does it?
I encountered two ramblers and a girl on a horse. We listened to pigeons and pheasants (the terrier put up at least three) and the train. And then, although, I said I wouldn't, walked across the footpath from Norcott Hall to Toms Hill, where my father planted the wood all those years ago. There's a lot of pheasant cover now and birds everywhere. Also sloes, crabapples & hawthorn. The crabapples smell divine. They're by the kissing gate and at the peak of ripeness.
I try not to look at our old house but I can't help it and every time I look, from year to year, it becomes less painful. It looks quite pleasant now, actually, not the same, of course, but different and pretty in its own, new way. It didn't really matter either: the smells and sights and sounds of early October in Ashridge are enough to revive even the most parched of souls.