Sunday: sharp blue sky, winter sunshine, breath visible in puffs before your faces. A morning walk through the village into the meadows and dells beyond. Bells chiming lustily in the church tower at ten to 11 as you passed. A gentleman working his vegetable plot noticed N and I’s interest in two chubby goats grazing in a corner of the garden. Brought them across with a bouquet of bramble leaves for the tots to feed. Three great big hearty pigs snuffling muddily in the next field.
While the others went home you took Didi on an extended ramble along a bridleway of mostly frozen mud, through pastures and woodland to the bank of the Thames. A minor domesticated river here at its upper reaches. Shared crumbled Jaffa Cakes with the curious ducks and assertive bullnecked geese. A forced march home for lunch. Didi, red-cheeked and bright-eyed, nodding off at his perch high on your shoulders.
In the evening a jaunt to the pub –that mythical pub with the Tudor beams — to watch the second half of a live football broadcast. The privilege of encountering the inbred racists that, legend has it, people charming country pubs throughout our land. “We hate yids” (yes…I suppose you do) said one on learning which team you were there to watch. Nasty language about African players on their own team as the game progressed.
The early night sky on the ten-minute walk home. Outer-space black and speckled with bright stars. Since how long did you see such things?
one winter evening: a 10-minute walk
through outer space