I need wide open spaces, woods, mountains, forests and seas. Not houses squeezed together, dual carriageways, electricity pylons, lorries, cars, supermarkets and too many people in small areas. I need space to squelch through mud and watch rabbits and buzzards up close. To wade through long wet grass and dandelions without worrying that other people will think I’m weird for wandering about alone (because here they do).
When you get a certain distance between yourself and all that twenty-first century living you can feel the difference, the freshness, the rightness. It is so awful what we have done. How stupid to take away our own freedom, and particularly to carry on doing it in the false sense that we actually enjoy how we live now. Reminds me of the African slaves in South America – slavery came to define who they were. Many of them had no desire to escape because they couldn’t see that there was any other way. Although an awful way to live, there is a certain safety in slavery. Perhaps they weren’t willing to give up the security that slavery gave them. It seems we are all slaves in a way – rich and poor alike. Servants to a way of life we have built ourselves.
- A frog in the garden – taken up residence in our tiny birdbath – which is in fact an old cat litter tray filled with water. Fascinating to watch him trying to catch the bees. He has been named Tub-Bob-Fred the Frog!
- The wildflowers – the periwinkle, lady’s smock, celandine, common sorrel, cowslips, red clover, germander speedwell, forget-me-not, red campion, herb Robert and wood sage growing on the commons. How beautiful they looked until the council came and mowed most of them down.
- Harvesting nettles and making nettle mushroom crumble from the The Hedgerow Handbook and nettle tea. There is a very good reason why nobody eats nettles even though they are edible, good for you and to be found everywhere – they taste vile!
- Glimpses of powder blue sky and the warmth of sun on your hair.
- First ever apple blossoms on the tree I planted two years ago – a perfect pink.
- Rows of seedlings – radish, beetroot, lettuce, rainbow chard and spinach.
- Blossom on the cherry tree.
- A thrush hopping about the lawn each morning – searching for worms and snails – and (I hope) slugs.
- Wrens in our old nesting box.
- That eerie yellow light when a blue sky sunset is threatened by dark storm clouds.
- The sound of heavy rain in the silence of the night.
- Pigeons cuddling together on the fence.
- Laughing with Jay.
- The feel of a light rain shower on my face.
- Emily sketching flowers in the garden, making daisy chains and drawing deer.