We started talking pretty much as soon as my guest wandered down this morning. About the same time coffee was made and Ani brought the first of the tennis balls.
By the time we eventually got round to going out it had become quite apparent that the stuff we have been working on will continue to be worked on while he is here. Which is wonderful. The fertile sparking of thought, realisation.. and mainly lunacy… is a constant delight. We didn’t stop talking, or laughing, till he went to bed. Nor did Ani stop with the balls, all the time we were in.
We’d had a gentle day, really, revisiting some places we have wanted to spend more time with, poring over medieval art, myths and legends. Enjoying the contours and history of the landscape around us as the sun shone in a clear sky and the red kites wheeled overhead.
We had begun with the old town. Then, being lunchtime, there was the historic King’s Head for a little refreshment in the courtyard of the ancient coaching inn, where the mounting block that may have helped Anne Boleyn to horse now holds only flowers and memories.
We wandered to Chalfont St Giles, where Milton completed Paradise Lost, and where we found a summer village beer festival on the green. But we had come for the incredible medieval paintings and were gifted with the sight of pale yellow hollyhocks growing against the flint walls of the church.
But most of the afternoon was spent basking in beautiful light in a tiny church we both love, and sitting in the shade of one of its trees and watching the kites, magpies, ravens and sparrowhawk play in the azure heavens.
Dinner was once again an al fresco affair on the deck in the pleasant warmth of the evening, lingering over cheese and a rich purple Syrah from Languedoc that tastes like the essence of France in a bottle. Honestly, much as I love France, and much as I had been looking forward to seeing my friends in Scotland, on a day like this there is nowhere I would rather be than here in the green of England.
We have laid plans.. fairly vague and very flexible… for the next few days. We intend to visit some beautiful places… and photographs will, of course, be taken…the camera and I have become somewhat a standing joke now.
My guest went to bed some time ago.. I am just waiting now for morning when I can show him the wicked pic I caught of him.
I believe he called me an evil hobbit…
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.