Tuesday, 22 November 2022

A very favourite place

Win Green hill in Wiltshire. Somewhere that Mum and I used to go to walk, listen to the larks twittering as they rose into never-ending summer skies and sit within the cool green shade of the hill's crowning trees.

I haven't been able to get back to Mum's grave since the day we said goodbye to her, the flowers and earth fresh, the plot waiting for its new little silver birch tree. Covid prevented the visit and only now have I been able to get away from home and make the trip back to Dorset.

So, I stood and talked to her for a while and reflected on some of the places we might have visited, back in time, seated in her elderly burgundy Nissan Micra. The sea, a walk at a favourite avenue of lofty oaks followed by tea and cake in the nearby café, an ancient hill fort with views across the undulating green countryside. Or, Win Green, a long curve of a hill topped with a wedge of stubborn beech trees, shaped over the years by the scudding Northern winds, a place that has featured many times in my books.

I chose the latter, and it being fairly . . . no, impossible, to access by public transport my lovely friend and fellow tree/hill/wilderness enthusiast drove us there. It was probably the first time I had experienced the hill without its gentle breezes, larks and nodding wild flowers. This day had been wind-wild, smatterings of horizontal rain, the beeches almost leafless and the usual views curtained by misty cloud, but it was just as atmospheric and memorable. We sketched, changed a few shouted words of appreciation against the blasts of wind then squelched back to her car to recover and plan where we could raise a cup of tea to Mum's memory.

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