Thursday, 8 May 2008

Coming Home

Since we are enjoying such beautiful weather, I just thought I'd share the cool of this local view with you all. It may be of particular benefit to some of my recent commentators who have apparently taken leave of themselves in the heat. This particular spot is without doubt one of my favourites, a little back lane that ascends sharply up and around Cranoe church. Up from the bend, two footpaths climb the even steeper Church Hill, and just out of this shot the green lane goes through an even darker tunnel where worn and overgrown brick steps lead precipitously up to the back of the church, built in the (almost) local stone. I often come down this lane at night, slowly, in case a badger is scurrying into the bank or a hare making off for the open fields, and in the early autumn the steep perspective here gives the full moon the look of an enormous poacher's lantern hanging up in the trees. I once used to say to companions on this road 'Look at this. You could be in Dorset. Or Devon. You'd never think you were in Leicestershire'. I have now realised what a fatuous remark this is. This is Leicestershire, and in fact very typical of the eastern side of the county. Sometimes the lesson to be learnt is that very often the grass simply isn't greener on the other side.

12 comments:

Diplomat said...

Ah - that's much more like it, altogether less provocative and unlikely to trigger any nonsense.

I'm very keen on the part of Leicestershire you describe, there is still an abundance of grassland and, particularly on that moonlit night you mention, it is like being transported to 18th century.

Peter Ashley said...

You are so right Diplo, particularly about the feeling you get in many parts of this area of time having just stood still. It is especially true of the country churchyards, and even if the church itself has been 'got at' by the Victorians, there is still an overwhelming sense of not only past times but of the generations that have held these places in their hearts.

A F-A said...

Marvellous photo! I'd like to think you published it just for me...returning to England after a journey through some of the less than wonderful parts of the world.
I know you didn't, but it does sum up all the things that make England so lovely - and such a good place to come back to.
Now all we have to do is stop idiots like Gordon 'I'm alright Jock' Brown and his tribe from building an Eco Village on it.

Philip Wilkinson said...

A road disappearing among enfolding trees. It's a very English scene, the kind that has inspired English artists such as Graham Sutherland (his 'Entrance to a lane') and Eric Ravilious, to name but two. It seems indeed to take one back in time, but also to lead into the unknown, into those explorations that make the middle of England so rewarding.

Peter Ashley said...

If anything I did came even remotely near a Ravilious, I would be ecstatic. And of course sometimes real life seems to want to imitate art so often. A stand of winter chestnuts round a set of farm buildings is 'very Badmin'; a row of swallows on a phone wire above a lichened tiled roof becomes a Tunnicliffe.

Diplomat said...

Just done Badmin at 06.30 hrs this morning - Milton Earnest on the A6 - massive display of chestnut candles prompting a whole conversation about the afore-mentioned. Bit of a coincidence that.

Diplomat said...

oh yeah - by the way what are you doing posting comments on your own blog at 05.43 hrs - or are you still on mystery time ?

Thud said...

Shotwick village on the wirral is one such oasis...a place able to transport one back instantly day or night.

Peter Ashley said...

You had me worried there Diplo, thought I'd slipped through the space / time continuum again. In fact I've just recalled I was in fact messing about on the blog at 5.43am, prior to transhipment to the Dungeness Peninsular, more of which to follow.

Jon Dudley said...

Beautiful picture Mr A. Dappled lanes so evocative. And now the harsh concrete of Dungeness...do take a look at Derek Jarman's hut. A ride on the RH&DR perchance?

Peter Ashley said...

Dungeness coming up JD. Needless to say though, Jarman's Jardins snapped and much more besides, including close-ups of RHDLR's 'Northern Chief' simmering like a kettle in the shingle-bound red-roofed cafe.

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