Walking from home

I have moved house from the middle of the country to the very southern edge of England. I now live near Brighton and a line of hills called the South Downs separates me from the sea four miles away. It is time to explore my new countryside.

The other day I walked out from my house and across the ripening oil seed rape field to a little village called Wilmington.

The air had been washed clean by yesterday’s rains. Here is the ridge of the South Downs.

In the churchyard of the village is a 1,600 year old yew tree.

The tree has many props to hold it up

I wondered why so many churches have yew trees planted in them. Looking at the internet I came across several suggestions.

  • Yews are poisonous to livestock so the yew would discourage farmers from grazing their cattle in the churchyard
  • In many pre-Christian religions the yew has been associated with the Tree of Life, a symbol of death and rebirth.
  • Many churches were built on pre-Christian sites.

For a fascinating guide to yew trees it is worth reading this – Yews

We walked towards the hill

Marked on the hillside is the figure of a man

This origin of this figure, the Long Man of Wilmington, is uncertain. In Victorian times it was marked out with yellow bricks. Today it is now drawn with breeze blocks painted white. It probably originated in the 16th or 17th century. The Long Man has a great view along the ridge.

The walk led to Jevington and at the entrance to the churchyard is this most unusual gate which pivots in the middle. It is perfect for socially distancing if you meet someone walking towards you!

There is a great feeling of space and rolling country here

My walk was a circular one and we were heading home now through the picturesque village of West Dean and its idyllic church

We joined the Cuckmere River near the sea where it is wide

Further up the river and nearer home the tidal influence diminishes and the river narrows considerably

And so back to home.

What a wonderful walk from my front door. In these Covid 19 times I think I can amuse myself without having to travel very far!

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all. To all you adventurers exploring this new world that we now live in.

I was ill at the beginning of March for a week. I’m better now.

Did I have the virus? Who knows?

I have left the mountains for now and I am living in Hove helping my daughter and her husband cope with the challenge of working from home full time and simultaenously looking after a toddler full time. It is just not possible!! So I help a little bit.

I live a couple of hundred metres from the sea so I can walk along the promenade for my daily exercise. For someone who used to live in the centre of England and a long way from the coast this is a bit of a novelty.

I have been studying a book on sketching and I think it has paid off. Here is a self portrait I did on the first day

This is the self portrait I drew yesterday

I decided to get some juggling balls with the intention of mastering the four ball throw. I vowed to master juggling with four balls some ten years ago and never succeeded. I’ll post a video if my plan works this time!! Fingers crossed. I do have lots of time to practice!

I hadn’t planned on being here but that’s life. Full of surprises. I count myself lucky compared with so many people. Adapting to these new times is certainly proving to be an adventure.

I have come to realise that travelling around the way I have been for the last few years has been a good way to get used to the unexpected and the surprising.

My house move is still progressing but of course has slowed down. I don’t know when it will all be finalised and I will have the sheer luxurious indulgence of a garden.

Today the sun is bright in the clear blue sky. I can hear birds outside my window. It is warm – I am wearing shorts and sandals. The trees in the street are only beginning to show their leaves, the camellias are past their best now, the bluebells are appearing. It is a lovely day.

I hope you have a lovely day wherever you are.

Happy Easter