Folly Hill

Today I visited Faringdon, Oxfordshire. A bright sunny day but with a sharp north wind. I climbed Folly Hill. A steep path rises from the edge of town between old stone walls and a tangled broken hedge of blackthorn and ivy. At the top one emerges to the edge of a grove of pine trees surrounding Faringdon Folly, a tower built by Lord Berners in the 1930s. I walked round the top of the hill, a symmetrical dome sitting between the Thames and Kelmscott to the north and the Ridgeway and Uffington’s white horse hill to the south. 360 degrees of extraordinary beauty. As I walked I recalled walking clockwise round a Buddhist stupa atop a similar hill in Orissa, East India about 15 years ago. As I walked, following the practice of monks meditating and walking, the sun set and the moon rose opposite it. I had one of those moments when one feels connected to the universe. Today something of the same kind just short of my 64th birthday. 360 views.

Andrew Walton’s paintings can be seen at The Rowley Gallery.

Frames of reference

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