|The old watermill, 60-70 years ago.|
The morning dawned grey and sullen, fairly fresh, but dry. I decided to try my first 'big' walk since I attempted a triple salchow in the conservatory...!
|The watermill today|
The walk was quite uneventful, one tractor and a pick-up truck passed us along the lane, but otherwise it was quiet.
I was meandering along the lane into Dovecote Dell, when a rabbit suddenly broke cover and raced across the road, hotly pursued by something. I rarely remember to take spectacles out with me, so it took me a moment or two to realise that the tiny thing in pursuit was a stoat. A rabbit is small, but a stoat is about one tenth of the size. Despite that, it meant business, but so did the athletic rabbit.
They zig-zagged across the lane, through the electric fence and back out into Brook Farm, then back again. Sometimes the rabbit was well ahead, then the stoat would catch up and I feared the worst. The last I saw of them was as they ran past the allotment gardens, past the farmhouse and into the back meadow. I left them to it, there was nothing I could, or should, do about it.
On past the old dovecote and up a steep short hill and into the churchyard.
We made a quick circuit of the church, stopping to read a few stones, admire the view, and all the work that has been done in the grounds. Occasionally old bones rise to the surface of the soil under the ancient yew trees, where countless generations of rabbits have excavated their homes. None today. I scrambled back out the side gate, past the Victorian post box which is set into the wall, and walked back to the dovecote.
The old dovecote looked a bit sad today, but that is just down to the light.
I followed the path through the farmyard, then walked along the bank of the chalk stream, back into Little Bunting.
It was a joy to be out in the countryside again. In all, I probably walked about three miles, it was enough. I was glad to reach home. But I did it! The first decent walk of the year.
The rest of the day was spent looking after two of my grandchildren, their mother was back at school and their father working with my husband, roofing the new garage. Just as well I hadn't planned to do anything for myself!
|The old dovecote on a summer's day!|