Friday, 12 November 2010


A free day, and a chance to explore some of the local paths. I struck out eastward in the morning, to get the best (least worst) of the weather. It's not quite flat; there are rolling fields running down to the brook. Beyond, on the neighbouring farm, there's a reservoir for anglers, next to a row of shooting butts. There are plenty of routes marked for horse riders, but the footpath across the field wasn't marked, so I took a route round the edge and past the reservoir. Two fine mute swans and their five grown cygnets glided over in curiosity, or seeking food. The waterline bushes rustled with chaffinches and blue tits, and other larger unidentified birds. Two moorhens scooted off to the other side, their wings playing ducks and drakes on the surface. The fields beyond, to the A44 and White Ladies Aston, were a mix of stubble and new crop planting, interspersed with small copses. The hedges are mostly hawthorn, punctuated by trees, with oak distinguishable at a distance by its tanned leaves. On my morning circuit, I met two of our neighbours, farmers father and son; and the churchwarden and two others at the church in White Ladies Aston. The churchwarden recommended I visit the chapel Churchill, a bit further north, which I found to be both peaceful and covered in bat droppings. My return route took in the Berkeley Arms, which does Elvis and Tom Jones tributes, wedding functions, and serves a decidedly unpleasant cup of tea.

In the afternoon, the rain closed in. I watched Have I Got News for You on iPlayer, to see my brother waving his hand as the camera pulled back and onto the audience during the closing credits.

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