We left Stanton this morning. Our walk began in lush meadows, rippled with buttercups and a cool breeze. Perfect we thought … but it didn’t last.
Next came impressive Stanway with its big house and trees. There was no problem here, but, a few corners further we met our first climb. By this time the breeze had dropped and the trees had vanished. Even the cattle looked hot.
The incline up the balding hill, that seemed to go on and on, glued my energy levels to my shoes. It was a long slog to the top, plenty of time to ponder the madness of a walk along the uppity Cotswold Way. The feeling kept nagging until the shade of the trees on the ridge, and the view below. From there it all felt like a grand idea.
It was also about then that the breeze picked up again. It felt cooler, the sky was blue, the birds sang and the whistle of a train came and went below. Not far off perfect.
All was well … although not so for some of the old trees around there, stricken with what I think is ‘ash dieback’ disease. They did not look in great health, but there were new plantings too, the most striking being two long lines of young trees that marched for miles into the distance below us, and then on up, beyond our horizon above. Like soldiers coming to save the planet.
We followed the ridge a little further, then dropped down towards Hailes Abbey and the small, Hailes Church. We had to be pre-booked for the Abbey, but not for the church which had its doors wide open. Inside it was plain and clearly very old, with a small sign requesting funds for the restoration of this place, where people had worshipped God since the 12th century.
The next village was Winchcombe, once the capital of the kingdom of Mercia. As we walked towards its high street in the afternoon heat, it felt as if time itself had gone to sleep.
Much the same as it did in Stanton yesterday. This photograph was taken just as the heat left the sky .
Thanks for reading. Tomorrow looks like being a long day.
Just in case you’re looking for it, and didn’t spot it at the top here is the JustGiving link again. Thanks SO much for your support.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2021