Thursday, 16 February 2012

On Foot Through February

got off the bus at Linton / rucksack / map / camera, of course / through the streets / down Mill Lane / 

to the mill / now a restaurant / between the buildings / under the arch / over the ford / cross the busy road /

lanes and field edge paths / flocks of goldfinches / a little stubborn snow remains / sun splashes down / rebellious clouds heave themselves across the sky /

into an ancient lane / twisted trees and mud puddles / tractor tracks and hoof prints / a green woodpecker loops off over the field /

farm road and a bridge / a railway bridge / but the railways been gone for decades / the bridge hasn't noticed yet / sshhhh....don't tell

on into Waltons, the big house in the village of Ashdon / glimpse into the garden / a place familiar long ago / but I've never been here / enigmatic /

little suns / yet to explode into yellow stars / the way continues / past Place Farm / the big barn /

picturesque cottages / Audis in the drive / Ashdon is a straggling, scattered village / footpaths criss-cross the fields and dive between houses /

across the fields to the old post-mill / 1757 / the whole building can revolve to face the wind /

follow the little River Bourn / past allotments / an old house / a very old house / a crooked house beside a crooked stile /

past the pub / along a delightful path / a path with snowdrops / but a path that leads me the wrong way / who cares? /

work out a way back to where I want to be / meet this fellow / someones little pony

muddy lane to the church graveyard / next to the church the old guildhall / it's a private house now /

at the end of a lane an old railway carriage / you just wait here said his friends, we'll be back later / still he waits /

piling up junk is a neglected form of agricultural sculpture /

on I travel / as clouds pile up / meteorological sculpture / but with an exquisite soundtrack / for an optimistic skylark flings his music over the land /

then into the town of Saffron Walden / wait for another bus / for home 

Take care.


  1. A delightful silhouette with the snowy field and the bare trees beyond. Some snow/ice left on the ancient lane. I’m not saying a word to the faithful bridge; what would you’ve done had it not been there? The wrought-iron gate is inviting...but you’re not tempted; it’s not open to the public maybe? It is indeed a picturesque cottage; I’d love to see inside too. The crooked house; what are those walls made of? The snowdrops were worth you going the wrong path; you’d have missed them otherwise. Those clouds look pestering; hope you didn’t have far to get to the bus stop; the skies were clear there; you missed the downpour?

  2. My favorite kind of walk--mixing the architecture, history, plants and animals--so much to take in.
    An entire building that turns in the wind--gotta wonder how that works.
    I would love to add that green woodpecker to my list!

  3. John - this has been a magical walk and just the sort I like on a cold day - brilliant stuff. We drove through Saffron Walden and I think a place called Little Walden last year. Very pretty. Stayed in Thaxted with friends.

  4. I adore your picture of the pony... its surreal!

  5. Nice walk, John. I like the white horse and the crookled house.

  6. A fantastic adventure, like an epic poem in pictures and words, thoroughly enjoyable! Lots of places to admire :^)

  7. Enjoyed the walk John, was there a crooked man, with a crooked wife in the crooked house?? Beautiful snowdrops, does that mean spring is in the air!!

  8. What a fabulous walk and some wonderful old buildings. I lived in Saffron Walden many moons ago - there was a wonderful secondhand bookshop there in the old Sun Inn. I wonder if it's still there.

  9. Thanks, everyone, I enjoyed having you along.
    Carole: The walls of the crooked house are lath and plaster, the plaster being decorated. No downpour materialised, though it had me worried!
    it's me: the mill is built around a central post on which it can be turned. Naturally enough they're called post-mills!
    Weaver of Grass: Thaxted! now there's a place I haven't been for years, almost forgot it existed!
    Sue Shep and Jack: the pony just stood and stared at me - probably knew I was lost - I took a few pictures but this is the only one with this surreal quality.
    Doug: Thanks for your kind words.
    Grace: I didn't want to disturb the crooked man as he may have had a crooked stick! It certainly felt like spring. More snowdrops coming soon!
    Rowan: I'll go and look for that shop when I get the chance.
    Rath: Good to hear from you.

  10. I think my favorite of the photos is the giant tree with a skirt of yellow blooms. Its difficult to choose. I fancy there was a nip in the air--from the look of the grey sky.


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