It was so beautiful yesterday when we went exploring around the village, and beyond, that I couldn’t stop taking photos…
It’s taken us a while to be able to go for long walks – we haven’t seemed to be able to work out a solution to us wanting an off-road, ‘proper’ walk through the woods and fields, while Elsa rides her scooter so she doesn’t get tired and the boys have to go in the buggy, so we need concrete paths and minimal humps and bumps.
But the day was so beautiful, and the twins are bigger now, and Elsa is pretty strong and tough when it comes to being outdoors, so we popped the twins in backpack carriers – we’ve got this one and it is brilliant, and also this one, which I used for Monty and which is the comfiest carrier in the world.
And Elsa left her scooter behind and we set off across the fields, through the woods, over a stream, past hedges and horses, over gates and stiles, down into the valley and out onto the hills.
We walked past one of the most beautiful houses in the village, whose gardens I have gazed at enviously for months.
A big hedge runs around the perimeter, but they’ve cut into it and added steel-framed ‘viewing windows’, so passersby can catch little glimpses of their landscaped heaven.
They are also the people who have hung this incredible spider’s web between the trees, at the edge of another field….
Later on, we collected leaves, acorns, conkers and blackberries….
Finding the last fruit of the season on a quiet lane at the end of our walk….
And the sun shone and warmed our backs, and gave everything a sunny, autumnal glow…
We discovered a walk that included narrow paths, wobbly stone steps, little stiles, crooked gates and old churches….
And we also climbed hills and walked through wide open fields, and stared down the valleys at the sight of England’s distinctive green and pleasant land. I feel so lucky to live amongst all this, and so amazed that we get to call it home. It is the one thing I never ever take for granted….
And all-in-all, we walked six kilometres together. And I was so proud of Elsa, who walked it all without a murmur of complaint. She is such a country girl. She really loves being outside, it was obvious to see, and a pleasure to witness. We made one choice before we were even parents – which was that we wanted to bring up our children somewhere green and spacious and rural. And it has been the one choice, I know, for us, that we got absolutely right….
“She was, after all, a country girl; disordered, hysterical, loving. She was muddled and mischievous as a chimney-jackdaw, she made her nest of rags and jewels, was happy in the sunlight, squawked loudly at danger, pried and was insatiably curious, forgot when to eat or ate all day, and sang when sunsets were red.”