Monday, 1 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

New Year’s Day 2018

The day began with toothache - not the most auspicious start to the new year, but one that I was determined would not spoil my fun.  A couple of painkillers, a salt wash and a hot water bottle followed my gingerly eaten breakfast, before we set off to explore a new route.  Friends had recently introduced us to a walk that we had not previously known and I had worked out that we could link it to one that we did, providing us with a circuitous path of about 2 hours length.

We followed the lane down to the old church as usual and then uphill towards the wood.  There had been rain overnight, but the mud underfoot was manageable, with not too much slipping or squelching.  The sky was bright and pale blue and the air still and fresh.  It made everything seem unsullied and hopeful, as befits a New Year’s Day.  

Following the line of the wood to the left, we then turned right and passed through a pungent stable yard.  It’s not a smell that I find unpleasant and somehow reminds me of the of the interior of a shotgun barrel ( from when, as a child, my father used to let me clean his 12 you do...).  A horse, walking round and round in an automatic walker, paused briefly to watch our small procession.  It looked somewhat offended as the the crossbeam continued on and smacked it on the bottom, encouraging it to press on with its exercise. We crossed the drive of a large and ancient house and then followed the footpath through the fields until our neighbouring village came into view.  Had we more courage, we could have turned right just before the houses, but being slightly unsure, we played safe and went to the road and along as far as the pub, where we recognised the small bridge that our friends had shown us.  We crossed it and easily found our way through the sheep fields and back to the cottage .

Just prior to home, we saw a muntjac trotting along the path ahead of us.  It seemed unaware of our presence and carried briskly along until disappearing into small the wood on our right.  Millie, our sight hound, who had missed the whole thing, picked up the scent and hurried to the spot where it had last been in view.  She did well on what has been her longest trek since a recent illness.  Good to see her lively and enthusiastic once again!

During the afternoon, as we sat reading in the kitchen, B alerted me to the presence of a hawk, hovering above the garden, about 3 metres away. The light from the setting sun cast it into a rose/gold background.

Now the cloud has come and the fire is lit and there are tea and homemade, spiced biscuits to tuck into - carefully avoiding that dodgy tooth!  Happy New Year!

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson