I have so many posts half composed in my head, but unwritten and unposted: stray cats, blogging v WhatsApp, Brexit (again), amazing books, homelessness, climate crisis, MasterB. You get the picture. Maybe in time. But tonight, as we come to the end of Easter weekend, and the sun is shining, the blossom is still blossoming, the air has a gentle, mellow air, quite at odds with the political climate, I want to write about yesterday’s walk in Surrey.
I was born in Surrey and grew up there. I took its hills, its green fields, its bluebell woods for granted. You still get to enjoy these things in Surrey when your parents aren’t stockbrokers.
Celia has just returned from Crete, where the spring flowers are a byword, but when we spoke on the ‘phone on Friday night she was up for a bluebell walk on Easter Sunday.
The walk was a Guildford circular, around eight miles long, including a short detour to Watts Gallery where we planned to picnic and see whatever installations the current artist in residence, Mary Branson, had made. As it turned out, there aren’t any yet, so we need to go back. We did manage to eat our lunch and to do some shopping. It’s not every country walk that includes successful purchases of kaftans and a child’s dress.
The weather was glorious, the sort of day Browning was probably thinking about in Florence when he wrote Home Thoughts From Abroad. And we were aware of trees in tiny leaf, though not elms; they succumbed to Dutch elm disease some forty years ago.
The terrain was varied; woodland, field edges, sunken paths, open ground, hills. We came to groups of houses too small to be described as villages, saw one ‘cottage’ about the size of the whole block of flats where I live, met dogs and their owners, walked through a field adjoining Loseley House. I kept turning to Celia to say how perfect it all was. There field of wheat, fields or rape, fields of sheep. There were flowers we couldn’t identify.
The last section took us along the River Wey and into the town, where a brief stop at a pub brought our perambulations to an end.
I took far too many pictures to post in one go, but maybe these will give the flavour of our day, and if you haven’t already been on your own bluebell walk this spring, maybe they will encourage you to get your boots on and search out some sheltered woodland over the next few days.