Out Now!

Saturday, 9 May 2020

The Lane

Each morning we consider the most important question of the day: where shall we walk? We have options: a three hour circular, but one involving stiles a daddy-long-legs would have difficulty clambering over  -  a much shorter walk but less scenic and involving several steep hills - the circular ridgeway route

 or, our favourite because it doesn’t involve squeezing into boots and tying complex knots, ‘the lane.’

At the very end of the lane is ‘Tregate Bridge’ and a decision, do we take a left turn to Crickhowell or turn right to Welsh Newton? I can’t be doing with decisions during a pandemic, besides it’s too far to walk, so we content ourselves with a brisk two-and-a-half-mile trot, our destination a mysterious shed.

I am quietly convinced ‘the shed’ is a cunningly disguised albeit dilapidated Tardis. It hasn’t got around to mastering time (as far as I know) but it’s certainly mastered space. The damn thing never seems to stay in one place.

Time and time again, we convince ourselves it’s just around a clearly defined corner, but it never is. 

Sometimes it’s located on the corner after that, or even one farther along, sometimes it’s exactly where it should be. It’s very exciting – the most exciting thing of a locked-down life – wondering where the shed will have located itself on any particular day.

You might think it gets kind of tedious, taking the same lane but in fact it never is.
Sometimes the sheep are excitable, other days they’re not. 

Those planning to cut their own hair during lockdown - consider.

And then there’s hedgerows bursting with butterflies and bees and every kind of wildflower. My wife is most patient. She knows it’s a ruse to pause and gain breath, but she says nothing as I stop to take pictures. Then again, it’s nice to know via ‘plant-snap’ what these flowers are, Celandine, Dog violets, and my current favourite Morning Campion.

The lane has its own mystery. This section is one of my favourites, little changed— apart from road surface—from the C18th.

Gorgeous in Summer, rich in mystery on dark winter nights when you half-expect highwaymen or worse: Hell-hounds, ghost-coaches, or the Devil waiting to trick a man for his soul—maybe in exchange for a shed that never stays still.


DRC said...

What a beautiful walk. We're not short of a few walks our way either. even though we could match yours with scenery, we don't have a wandering shed. the flowers are beautiful to look at but i've found myself turning into a Twitcher and spotting all the different birds we have here. Saw a Yellowhammer the other day (had to look that up). Never seen one before. Our neck of the woods also comes with its own tales of ghostly coaches and highwaymen but i've yet to see them...disappointingly.
Hope you're doing well in Lockdown

Unknown said...

Never heard that name for Red Campion before. Love the Bluebells

Mike Keyton said...

Unknown (Sue?)

Thanks for the check up - just done my homework:

Adders’ Flower, Bachelor’s buttons, Billy buttons, Bird’s eye, Bob Robin, Brid een, Bull rattle, Bull’s eye, Cancer, Cock Robin, Cuckoo flower, , Devil’s flower, Dolly winter, Drunkards, Fleabites, Gipsy-flower, Gramfer-greygles, Johnny Woods, Mary’s Rose, Morning campion, Mother-dee, Mother-die, Ragged Jack, Red butcher, Red Jack, Red Riding Hood, Red Robin Hood, Robin flower, Robin Hood, Robin redbreast, Robin-in-the-hedge, Robin’s eye, Robin’s flower, Robroys, Red Mintchop, Sarah Janes, Scalded Apples, Soldiers’ Buttons, Wake Robin, cuckoo flower.

Personally, I rather like 'Ragged Jack' but puzzled my 'Mother-die'

Mike Keyton said...

DRC ghostly highwaymen are two a penny, but wandering sheds . . . well, I'll leave it there. I understand your fascination with birds, I'm equally fascinated by bird song and am torn between several apps that would enable to EASILY identify them. Then I would be complete man. Standards are low in wales

Maria Zannini said...

Unlike England we can't just go walking through a neighbor's acreage unless we happen to know them. We call that trespassing in Texas, though I've often found it a quaint curiosity that it's allowed in the UK.

We have a nice street walk that's about two miles. We can walk as far as the million dollar houses with the big gaudy gates, but we never bother. We have plenty of acreage to keep us busy here.

I love the audio you sent of the sheep! My goats are much more boisterous. I have to remember to return the favor.

Lately we've been so busy in the garden I've been too tired to do anything else. Hence, the reason I never posted Monday.

Mike Keyton said...

You're right, Maria, we're lucky with our 'Rights of Way' Act and our numerous historic footpaths. I'm glad you liked the sheep noise, and looking forward to hearing your goats. Our gardening is less frenetic than yours and I hope you're now truly referesheed - if that's possible as a homesteader :)

Mike Keyton said...

I don't think anyone is ever truly referesheed -- refreshed perhaps