You can see them from wherever you are. When you're up here you can see wherever. A clump of young beeches and the odd fir form a dark blip on the ridge above the Northamptonshire / Leicestershire border. There is talk of a causeway camp long, long ago; there are marks on old Ordnance maps indicating a windmill. Always a meeting place of both people and trackways, there is more recent talk of the derelict single storey cottage being built in the 1930s for a chap to live in with his emphysema. Up in the wind, to help his gasping lungs. And the wind does blow. Producing ghostly squeals as the beeches crowd in and rub against the lichened brick, moaning in the rotten chimney stacks. Next door the air moves icily through the glassless metal casements of a wartime observation post, still with its wooden bunk beds up against the wall. In this strange grouping are also concrete entrances to bunkers that must have given chilling credence to the words 'Cold War'. Of course my boys thought they'd gone to some kind of windy heaven. They ran up here yesterday, dashing in and out of the swaying trees and invading the cottage like a landing force, moving from room to room with shouts of glee. "This is so awesome Dad". And then they unearthed the mossy skulls. Sheep, we hope. They carried them back down the hill like battle trophies, singing songs snatched away on the March wind. Just as it probably always was, a long, long time ago.
2 days ago