Tuesday, 13 July 2010

two walks to the trout

Last Friday we did the walk from Lower Chicksgrove to Chilmark, via Fovant. It was along the track from Fovant that I took the photo above. I love looking down the valley when you reach the trees. I love the contrasts--the light and shade, the cool after the hot. Though cool was relative that day.

On Sunday we headed for the Trout at Tadpole Bridge for lunch. It was just after Christmas when I last did this walk and the snow was thick on the ground. It was a bright sunny day then too and at times I was almost blinded by the glare. The snow was dry--more Alpine than Oxfordshire--and when you kicked the surface you sent powder skimmering. This time the land was parched, the corn nearly ripe.

As you approach the Trout I always think of the illustrator, author and publisher Robert Gibbings. In his books Sweet Thames Run Softly and Till I End My Song he writes about visiting it in the forties and includes a woodcut of the frontage. The land is flat and echoey between Rushy Lock and Tadpole, with big skies that can look brooding to melancholy much of the year. The latter seems particularly so when you hear the cry of curlew from the meadows.

RG ran the Golden Cockerel Press and is an inspiration to all aspiring publishers.

Today it has rained and the garden and allotment must be feeling altogether more cheerful. The gardeners certainly are because they don't have to water and can go to the pub instead.

There is talk of potato blight on the allotment, though, which is worrying.

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