The traveller’s eye

Saturday: N bubbling with energy after a ballet and tapdance class in the morning. Jubilant infectious giggling from the pair of them in the back of the car.

Drove East to the house in the village near Oxford. Last seen January 1st, gutters fringed with leaking icicles. Today, sunblessed and lushly greened.

Lunch under the pergola in the partly overgrown garden, semi-shaded by a high cherry tree. A tribe of jackdaws agitating overhead. Cold cuts cheeses salmon and bread. Strawberries raspberries meringues and fresh cream. Strong Italian coffee to finish. Pairs of unripe cherries scattered in the grass and dangling from tendrils. A wheelbarrow for running for the kids around in. Generous hospitality from H and B. A fine afternoon for all.

Picked strawberries at nearby farm and visited the ruins of Robert Dudley’s house in the local churchyard. Drove home in the latening afternoon sun.

Kindly rolling landscapes, fertile and prosperous. The drought that’s just beginning, still invisible to the traveller’s eye.

Fire engine red

and big as a plum, a very

ripe strawberry

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