A day of grace

It was one of those really special summer days, with a kindly warmth and a cool, perfumed wind. The kind of day when you venture out of your cramped studio to get some milk and the day says -
'hello - where've you been? Let's go and have an adventure...'
'Oh I'd love to, but I can't, really, there's artwork to be done, e-mails to write, not to mention the garden and the hoovering'
'Ah yes, but how many days do you get like ME? There'll be enough cold, grey muddy winter days, when you'll look back on this as a day of grace - and smile at my memory, when I am long gone.'
So, like Moley from 'Wind in the Willows', I kicked up my heels, and set off on my old bike Hercules...

the open road

The farmers were literally making hay while the sun shone.

golden days

Swinbrooke is one of the prettiest villages in West Oxfordshire - a fairy town decked with flowers and threaded with chuckling streams.

Cycling through Swinbrook towards Burford - this is the village church, where the Mitfords are buried.

...and past the dear little old chapel nearby. It is humbler than its grand sister, but there is more a sense of peace and old sanctuary.

Burford was swarming with people admiring it's charms. After the obligatory 'potter' and window shop, I found a pub which, being off the main street had a deserted patio garden and a decent range of beer...time to sit down with my book and recuperate.

A pint of 'Henry' and Walker's finest.

And so the journey home. Back past the gentle Evenlode, past the cricket match, now in it's last desperate 'come on boys!' throes.

Evenlode river near Swinbrooke

I'd done about 14 miles now, by taking the 'scenic' route. The shadows were lengthening and the swifts diving low over the hayfields. The light was taking on the 'old gold' shade which seems to bathe everything in storybook atmosphere. The landscape was almost purring, like a warm, contented cat, sleepy with sunshine. It had been a wonderful day - but I was glad to get to the top of Swinbrooke Hill and head for home.


Francesca said...

Oh does this make me homesick. In so far as anywhere is home. Lovely,

F.O.E. (Friend of Ellen's)

Gretel said...

Hi Stuntmother! We're forecast rain at the weekend, so maybe I'll post some pics to remind you of the real good old British 'summer'!

Janet Metzger, Artist said...

I smiled when you mentioned Moley...I love Wind in the Willows!!!!!! I read it to my sons all the time...;-)