A landscape that I love

Here is another re-blogged post, written when we had been in Heckington about two weeks or so. I wrote the other day about running from and running to. When I think about this and about this move that I made, it seems to me as if I was both running from myself and to myself. I was afraid, before the move, that perhaps, as I have done before, I was running away from problems that in fact were part of me, afraid that, as they say, I would be bringing myself and the pain and problems would come along too.

And in a way it was true. I ran from Manchester, arrived in Heckington and found myself already here. But in a good way…

Flat Earth, Big Sky

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I took this picture on a walk with friends on New Year’s Day, on the way going north out of Heckington near a very small place called Howell (with a lovely, very old church – picture another time) on the way to another village called Ewerby.

It was one of the few days since we moved when it wasn’t raining and the light was nice enough to take photos. This shows the flat fields of the fens and the black earth; the wintry colours that I love and a landscape that warms my heart and makes me feel at home – far more than I realised it would when we decided to move here.

I barely know Lincolnshire, but the views across these fields remind me of the landscape I grew up in, around Grantchester, near Cambridge. The village of my childhood is south of Cambridge so not in the…

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180 degrees

Tom's fields

Beautiful sunshine this morning reminds me of breakfast in the garden with a lovely houseful of people last Sunday. Family from Glasgow, friends from Colchester and from Manchester all came to stay for partner’s birthday.

Last year fourteen friends sat down for a birthday dinner at our house in Chorlton and shrieked in disbelief at the idea of us moving to this distant, empty region.

This year, after breakfast, we walked on Star Fen where a friend took this picture and another said how striking the flatness of the land is: ‘the full 180 degrees,’ with the sky like an upturned bowl.

Last year’s Manchester dinner was grander than this year’s, but I see that both menus featured mushrooms, asparagus and my favourite spring ice-cream, flavoured with blackcurrant leaves. I like that link across the months and the miles, and that two friends from that dinner were here with us at this one: connections, connections…

This year the asparagus was grown in the next village and I picked nettles for the pasta dough from the field at the end of the road.

St Andrews Church, Heckington

A large town church in a village, in fact one of the dozen or so grandest churches in Lincolnshire.*

I’ve mentioned our village church in passing: the bell-ringing on a Tuesday night, a landmark to guide me home from a walk, the presence of the medieval world in our modern one, and so on. So yesterday, in the sunshine, I took a few photos of it to put up here.

St Andrews was built in the fourteenth century and I’d heard before arriving here that it is an important church (in this region of many fine churches). In particular people write about, and take pictures of the stone carvings both on the outside and inside the building.

If you like church architecture and decoration, there are many more images, by better photographers than I, to be found on the web. Have a look on the Geograph website, a fun place to visit if you don’t know it (search for Heckington or grid square TF1444).

I love living so close to this ancient building. I love it being open so much of the time and I love the second-hand bookstall inside.

And I’m glad I took the photos yesterday. Today there is no sun again, only the punishing, bitter cold.

* from Lincolnshire by Nikolaus Pevsner, John Harris, Nicholas Antram (2002)

Silver linings

Grantham sunset

Second trip to Doncaster this week – feeling tired of travelling and so badly wanted to stay in my garden this morning, destroying more leylandii in the spring sunshine. But the training session I went for was good, a rare chance to get together with fellow trainee mediators; fun, informative and confidence-boosting. And later, while hanging around between trains on my way home, I watched the sunset and regretted the absence of my camera. Silly me – my iPad is also a camera – so here is that sunset sky over Grantham.

I love this sort of sky that looks as if painted by Turner – when you look at it full size, you can see the brush strokes.

Writing this on the little train. Back in lovely Heckington in a few minutes; too dark for gardening now. A quarter of a century ago, in my little garden in Brixton, I used to rig up lights so I could garden in the dark!

View from the dog field

imageLike it says: this is the view at present from the field where we most often take our two lurchers, only a short walk from the house. The older of the two is pretty old and pretty doddery sometimes, but both of them are frisky in the snow. Another photo cadged from partner’s camera – thank you, partner.

Originally this picture came up larger – no time to fix it now – but if you tap or click on the photo, you can see it full size, which is better!