Saturday, 6 January 2018

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

6 January

Twelfth Night begins with a sharp frost and clear, pale, blue sky.  The dissolving moon hangs over the garden at the rear of the cottage.  The rooftops beneath are coated in thick, white rime.  Millie races back in, leaping from lawn to decking - which is like an ice rink - and somehow manages to brake like a figure skater, just before the back door.  How that dog keeps those four, stick-like legs from going in different directions, I will never know!

Lavenham is resplendent in the winter sunshine.  Its houses of Suffolk pink and ochre glow warmly in the cold air.  Walking past the Priory, I hear a deep, rippling, “tchoo, tchoo”.  Standing proudly on the pinnacle of the steep roof of this white, 13th century building, is a large dove of the same colour.  It looks like the figurehead on the prow of an ancient vessel.  There is a theory that some of the timbers of such medieval houses were recycled from old ships.  Whether this is true or not, I like the idea.  I often look at our own small ceiling, with its gnarled, strong central beam and curving ribs, and feel as if I am looking at a hull from below.  I like to think that, in some past life, our small house, before it came to settle here, had adventures on the high seas!

The kestrel returns during the early afternoon.  Although I am not sure, at first, if it is a different, larger bird.  Looking through field glasses, I can see that it is a female, and the reason that it looks larger is because today it is not puffing its feathers and bending into the wind.  As we watch, she suddenly swoops down from her perch on the fence post to the grass below.  A successful kill is made and off she flies towards some nearby trees to eat or cache the vole.

The bird of prey is not the only hunter out today. I am carrying in some kindling at 3pm and hear gunshots echoing across the valley from the distant woods.  A pheasant shoot is underway.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson