A Walk From Hawkley

These ancient yew trees are in the churchyard at Hawkley in Hampshire. I’d discovered them via the Ancient Tree Inventory. We’d come down from London to meet Howard Phipps who was coming up from Salisbury with a windowful of wood engravings in the back of his car. And surprisingly we got there first, so I went looking for trees. Continue reading “A Walk From Hawkley”

Frames of reference

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding

For old times sake – Old Kent Road – A2 – New Cross – The road to Maidstone – A20 – The World Turned Upside Down – London Transit Centre – Gas – Take Courage – As I walk – This wicked world – Searching for light in the darkness of insanity – I ask myself – Is all hope gone? – Is there only pain, hatred, and misery? – And each time I feel like this inside – There’s one thing I want to know – Oh what’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding? – Brinsley Schwarz – 1974 – Nick Lowe’s best song

Frames of reference

Little Berkhamsted & Essendon

St Andrew’s Church at Little Berkhamsted is, like so many village churches, a place of worship surrounded by trees. Ancient trees are often found in churchyards. I imagine they’re vestigial survivors of the original forest, before it was cleared for farming and agriculture. Or planted as replicas of the Garden of Eden. A woodland glade is a naturally consecrated place. Continue reading “Little Berkhamsted & Essendon”

Frames of reference

A Holloways Walk

We came to Symondsbury for breakfast, the best coffee and bacon roll in months, then down past the church and up the hill to Shute’s Lane. We were staying under Eggardon and we’d already driven down a tunnel of green lanes to get here. This one was closed to traffic so now we were on foot. Continue reading “A Holloways Walk”

Frames of reference

Walking In The Woods (2)

I’ve been coming to Epping Forest for over 40 years, but I never saw this magnificent oak pollard at Rushey Plain pond before today. Complete with wasps nest. There’s always something new to discover here, and it all looks different every time. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (2)”

Frames of reference

Ayot & Ayot Again

Three weeks later and we were back again, to begin again, this time from Ayot St Lawrence instead of Wheathampstead. It was early October and the wasps were still browsing drowsy on the ivy. Continue reading “Ayot & Ayot Again”

Frames of reference

Wheathampstead & Back Again

The River Lea at Mill Bridge in Wheathampstead one day last September. Another walk from the between lockdown daze. It seemed we were always walking back then, but nowadaze it’s let your fingers do the walking, typing keyboard dreams of freedom, stuck indoors again. Continue reading “Wheathampstead & Back Again”

Frames of reference

Paglesham

This was another walk we’d done before, so once again we were going over old ground, but not necessarily knowing the way. We may have already been here but that doesn’t mean we’d left our mark. We were backtracking but we were not remembered and we all look different every time. Continue reading “Paglesham”

Frames of reference

Kingswalden Park

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”

Frames of reference

Epping Long Green (1)

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)”

Frames of reference