Today is the first day of my long awaited holiday.
Except I’m still here, at home, skulking in the shade and bandaged.
I could wail and moan.. but honestly, is that going to do anyone any good? The sun is glorious, it promises to be a hot and beautiful day. The roses are resplendent in the garden… and even if the weeds are laughingly creeping in again under my nose, taking advantage of my current inability to do much about it, the garden is lush, green and full of life.
So this year it can be a wilder garden than usual and winter will tidy away what I cannot. The bees are loving it.
I will not, though, get to see my friends in the north, which was a wonderful part of our plans. But they, and Scotland, will still be there when I do get up there.
So I have decided that I am on holiday anyway this week. It is, after all, as much as anything a state of mind. The clock does not need to rule my days, the routines of everyday life can be set aside whether I am at home or away… they’ll still be here when I get ‘back’. This week is time out for the mind and a change of pace for the body. The imagination, fuelled by the mutual lunacy of friendship, can be allowed to play in foreign fields, even if my feet do not stray far from my doorstep.
My travelling companion arrives today and we are going to play out in the landscape, history and heritage of the south instead. Well within reach of my hospital appointments and rather more sedately than tearing around Scotland. It is, after all, a beautiful land, both north and south, rich in myth and legend, with a story hidden around every corner. There are new landscapes to discover, architecture to explore, fairies under every bush and ancient inns in which to talk about them, and everything else under the sun, over a nice cold cider.
We will begin this afternoon with a more leisurely exploration of one of the painted churches we discovered. Our first visit was a fleeting one, with a dash to the station looming. If we can get the key on a Saturday afternoon to this decommissioned jewel it will be good to take the time to read the stories that have looked down from the walls for over five hundred years.
If the keepers of the keys are not at home.. well, the world is our oyster and we can wander at our leisure, making an adventure of the coming days. The cameras are charged and the sky luminous. There is wine in the kitchen, good cheese in the fridge and dessert in the oven… all of which are unusual enough to make the day feel like a holiday, even before breakfast.
Let’s see where the adventure leads…
HEART OF ALBION
Stuart France & Sue Vincent
Unwittingly drawn into the mysterious and magical landscape of The Initiate, Don and Wen pondered the visual language of symbols, stumbling across revelations and realisations that would alter their perception of the age-old stories they thought they knew… tales that entwine across the tapestry of time.
A hilltop steeped in tragedy, a child whose eyes see too much… a Word-Weaver’s birth into darkness… strange forms shimmering on the edge of vision. They learned to walk the Living Land, listening to the whispers of Earth memory and the ghosts of the most ancient past. And from those tales, another line of communication opens as they explore the folklore, legends and traditional tales handed down, from heart to heart, over the millennia.
As the two friends travel between the sacred sites of Albion, they discover stories that tell how the leys were made, the true origins of the hill-forts and the reason why Father Fish had breakfast in Slug Town.
Striding across this landscape of myth are the giants. From Cerne Abbas to the top of the Beanstalk, from Camelot to the Castle of Maidens, how and why is their presence stamped on the Living Lore of the land by their seven-league boots?
Join Don and Wen as the adventure continues, un-ravelling its mysteries and the magical relationship between Albion and its people.
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