Tentative steps back

A few weeks back I announced a break from blog posting; a summer holiday in a form. I’m not sure what I’ve achieved through it, but perhaps a new approach and a regaining of control over this little corner of mine online. Am I back? Well, I’m not entirely sure about that either, but I do find myself finding some lovely things I’d like to say and share, so perhaps it’s time to make a few jottings.

Whilst I’ve not been blogging, I have maintained contact via Instagram, and regular followers will have seen glimpses of the natural world that has continued to be my principle source of solace and inspiration. Runner beans and garden gates, calendula in the veg patch. A hobbit’s woodland tale, and evening walks to the point on the lane where a gateway suggests a place to stand and stare. Summer’s first fruits, and the garden’s best butterflies fresh from the meadows. Throughout the lock down period and continuing uncertainty, I (and indeed my fiance) have been as busy as ever; no furlough or long weeks to fill with fresh entertainment for us, but I’m not complaining.

I have long recognised the value of finding time to notice the natural world around me even just for a minute, of having an enquiring mind, and appreciation of the simple ‘little things’. A ‘lifetimes’ practice and I still catch myself forgetting these important things from time to time, but there’s little a stroll on a summers evening wont fix, or at least lighten.

This week my biggest joy has been the butterflies in my garden, and I’ll tell you more about them in another blog post soon.

Today however, I simply want to share some images from our day out. Yes, thats right, we had a joint day off work, took a break from the allotment, turned our back on housework chores (the windows *really* need cleaning!) and indulged ourselves with a picnic and a day trip. In fact, we didn’t actually travel far, as just a mile or two along the road from our edge of village home, is the fabulous Weald and Downland Living Museum. If you are unfamiliar with the museum, (which is celebrating its 50 year birthday!), you can find our more about it on their website here: https://www.wealddown.co.uk/
We were delighted to receive a year’s membership to the museum from my parents as a Christmas present, so it was wonderful to be able to use our entry passes at long last. We strolled and photographed, studied, devoured a salad and ginger beer picnic, wandered some more and soaked up the sights sounds and relaxation, all in all not heading home until 5 hours had passed by – good value I reckon, and certainly made up for any lost time over the spring.

The 40+ acre site captures a rural atmosphere that seems to stretch and blend seamlessly in all directions yet cradle you safe and comforted in the valley arms. Gardens teem with herbs and wildflowers took advantage of every untended corner. Wildlife filled every bed or border, hedgerow bend and field with life and barn swallows twittered their hurry high overhead. It was lovely to see so much colour and growth, and to touch-stone generations past, at corner of house or farmstead gate. Here and there were a few signs of late summer fruitfulness, hints of the season to come.

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