We crossed the footbridge at Newport railway station, over the West Anglia Main Line between Elsenham and Audley End, forty miles north along the route from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge. The track was quiet, the train had just disappeared and taken all the noise and commotion with it. We were left with a few bubbles of birdsong in its wake. Continue reading “Newport, Widdington & Debden”
It’s like a compilation album with hits from all your favourite artists. They just take a bit of finding. And whilst you’re looking you might discover something new, something previously overlooked. You might even need to come inside and look around. But quick, it’s getting late. Continue reading “A Winter Windowland”
This was another summer walk, back in July when it seemed like whenever we were not working we were walking. Walking had become our substitute for going out to the cinema, the theatre, music gigs, galleries, restaurants, shops, markets. Sometimes while out walking we might risk visiting a pub, but only if we could sit outside. Covid lived inside. Today we parked on the village green at Preston in Hertfordshire, beside the Red Lion pub. But its door was closed, its garden was empty and there was no public convenience. I needed a tree. I could think of little else, winding the village paths out to pasture and greatly relieved to find this welcoming field maple. Continue reading “Kingswalden Park”
We first discovered Epping Long Green a week ago – Epping Long Green (1) – but then realised we’d only seen a part of it, so today we came back to explore its full length. We started from Epping Green and walked west, retracing our steps from last week as far as this fingerpost. Then we turned around and walked back and continued east to the furthest extent before returning to where we started from. But not before a quick figure-of-eight turnaround in the woods. Continue reading “Epping Long Green (2)”
Epping Forest was busy. There was plenty of space for everyone to walk comfortably, but it seemed like social distancing among the trees had become the new normal, and the car parks were all full. Previously, as a last resort, we’d parked on the roadside at Baldwin’s Hill. The bonus was a glass of beer from the doorway of the Foresters Arms, before plunging downhill into the forest for a gently meandering walk along Loughton Brook. But today it felt safer to avoid the crowds, and instead of going into the centre of the forest, I looked for somewhere quieter on the outskirts. Continue reading “Epping Long Green (1)”
From Chipping Ongar we followed the Essex Way, a long straight track heading west out of town through fields of barley, towards a distant dust storm. The path was fragrant with chamomile under our feet, and luckily, by the time we reached it, the combine harvester had stopped to let us pass. Continue reading “Greensted Church”
We’ve got a windowful of butterflies to cut out and keep, captivating moments gilded and framed, an April shower of lepidoptera, caught in a dream of waking and sleeping and waking again.
I dreamed I was a butterfly, but then I awoke. Now I do not know whether I was a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am a butterfly dreaming I am a man – Chuang-tzu. Continue reading “Lepidopterae”