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Yesterday was a good day for walking and the Herefordshire countryside was at its glorious best, framed in blue with a soft rolling mist tucked amongst the folds of the hills.

It served well to look outwards rather than downwards as beneath our feet a thick layer of decay and detritus cushioned our every step.  The debris of a wet autumn and winter has created more rot and mud than the saturated ground can handle.  The relentless winter rains seem to have had the effect of pulling everything back to the earth, rotting the core out of every living thing and turning England into a bog.  It brought to mind the peat bog featured in Seamus Heaney’s brilliant poem ‘kinship’


This centre holds
and spreads,
sump and seedbed,
a bag of waters

and a melting grave.
The mothers of autumn
sour and sink,
ferments of husk and leaf

deepen their ochres.
mosses come to a head,
heather unseeds,
brackens deposit

their bronze.
This is the vowel of earth
dreaming its root
in flowers and snow,

mutation of weathers
and seasons,
a windfall composing
the floor it rots into.

I grew out of all this
like a weeping willow
inclined to
the appetites of gravity.


Nature’s cycle does not pause for the rot however and signs of renewal and new beginnings are starting to appear…

11626650765_38a246a1b4Sky hidden behind fog and mist, temp 1c.

Time for a dram.