Baked Washed & Blown Dry? Come for a walk

We've been baked, jet washed and blown dry in the last few weeks, and the strong winds are still reminding us of staking 'Could-Do-Better's, like this Inula magnifica who looks a little worse for wear in his drunken sea of long grass.

But apart from a bit of tidying up after the storms, the garden is in holiday mood. The season extenders grown from seed have been planted and the weeds are slowing down. The grass has paused in the heat and a sea of clover has taken its place, alive with happy noisy bees, so there's time to walk the dogs..

One of the best things about walking, is the feeling of familiarity as you pass the same spots through the seasons.  We don't own the land through title deeds, but we all belong to the land, and in a spiritual way it belongs to us.

Tramping my daily beat with my spaniels circling my heels, I get terribly excited as the first buds on the trees herald the beginning of the end of winter. With the birth of the first lambs I feel triumphant and the arrival of the wild orchids along the side of the road makes me feel protective and then positively subversive as I dream of lying down in the path of the inevitable Council mowing machines.

As I walk I feel grounded and gradually peaceful. Nature is taking its course and all is in its place in this little corner of England's Green and Pleasant land. England seems through my lifetime to have been forever going to war, but it has always been at one remove, in a distant place and often for someone else's quarrels, so despite the news and the brave friends who return, we can be thankful that for many years war has not been to us.

Strange to think then that my favourite fields were once the spring board for D-Day. That the fields of sheep and crops were runways and Nissan huts, and that fierce dog fights took place over my house each day.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and to commemorate the brave American and Canadian airmen of the Ninth US Air Force and the 2nd Tactical Airforce, our local farmer Roger Munn has allowed a monument to be put up on his land in their memory.

I am very grateful to them for my peaceful walks.

These days the fields are the springboard for dozens of sky larks, jet propelled vertically into the sky as we pass, whilst on the way home the human fly past is almost silent:-

But the dogs have been busy collecting new weed seeds for the garden, so I won't be idle for long..

My thanks to Anni, who lives on the other side of the airfield and who gave me the black and white photos - here she is waving from her top right window:-


  1. Marian, every time I visit your blog My breath is taken away. It is hard to imagine those idyllic fields as a war zone. For me WWII is a lesson in a history book. But my parents lived through it. It was not so long ago! We have much to be grateful for the men and women who fought in that war and for those who stayed home to support them.

  2. thank you Marian for such a poetic and poignant post...i'm afraid that your black spaniel all covered in weed seed looks a bit like me after a days work...

  3. Dear Marian - what a momentous post of nostalgia and wistfulness. And yes lest we forget, the memorial is wonderful. Have just read Roald Dahl's autobio, flying Hurricanes at aged 22 whilst also now listening to Geoffrey Wellums 'First Light' - spitfire pilot at 18.


    p.s. love the seedy dog :)

  4. Dear Laura - Isn't Geoffrey Wellum wonderful - his first book at age 80! I think of him and his colleagues in particular on sunny early mornings - all that summer the mornings were clear and sunny so they always had to fly. Thanks for the R D recommendation - how did he keep such an amazing sense of humour?! I read Danny the Champion of the Universe to my son a couple of years ago, wonderful.

  5. Dear Michael - I cannot believe your beautiful garden has cleaver in this quantity! However mine surely will next year unless I get busy with the dog brush!

  6. Marian, thank you for including a history lesson in your post!

  7. Thank you for this post Marian! We should never forget.

  8. Hi!
    Yes it is really nice to enjoy the different seasons in the landscape. I also like to take walks around where I live (no previous war zone though ;-)
    Best Regards,


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