Friday, May 26th, 2017.

For the past several weeks I haven't walked to work once. I've missed morning frosts, days of rain, evenings of sunshine, and a radical explosion of life which I can hear - there are lambs in the fields, and the birds are phenomenal this year - but I haven't walked among.

An owie leg, and the build-up to last week's Archive Weekend and conference had conspired with everything else to make it sensible to drive to the Archive. You can certainly get more practical work done in a period of intense workload if you go by car, and trips to the station and the store become practicable; but you lose the slow surprises of life and thought of an hour walk in, and an hour walk back, dawdling to listen and to take photographs. You miss the aching beauty of England. So, I took some paracetomol for the leg, and on Friday I walked in. It was wonderful.

01 gardens

 Through the neighbour's garden the footpath passes through, you can see the Cotswolds in the distance. What you can't see is the square tower of The White Lady of Toddington rising out of trees and back-lit by the hills; but go through the gate, and there it is.


02 paths of flowers

 Some of the borders around the fields have been mown, and give air to the crops.
In this field it has been left for a road of wild daisies.


03 Cotswold hills

 And here, all of the green rolls up to the Cotswolds.


04 cool places

 A cool place.


05 ancient excitement

 King Lear, raging in the cataracts of Spring. Each tree has a name.


06 through the gate

 The Cotswolds through a different gate. A different frame.


07 white lady of toddington

And in Toddington, The White Lady.

The walk back, in the evening: The owie leg returned, about a hundred yards this side of the cattle in the field, who showed no obvious sympathy, and made no disturbed or suspicious sounds. But the bird song was magnificent.