Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The maize maze

On this, the last full day of our grandsons' stay with us, I took them over to Hidcote, near the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. There, almost opposite the entrance to the famous gardens, an enterprising farmer has, in recent Summers, turned some acres over to what I guess is called diversified agriculture. You drive into a field, park and then pass through a marquee into a large play area, with sandpit, go-karts, slides etc. From there you can enter an even larger area planted with maize, an extensive maze within it. Great fun, and well spiced up with notices about various mythological animals - a quiz sheet is handed out when you pay for admission. Suffice to say, the boys loved it, though for that age group it's quite hard to keep going the whole way. (We cheated, against a promise to return next year.) "I wish I was bigger," said Laurie.

Every so often within the maze there is a wooden bridge giving a view over what was once leafy Warwickshire. In my photograph you can see the mysterious Meon Hill, scene of a grisly killing some 66 years ago: I recall being thoroughly spooked by it as a child.

One of my earliest memories was of being with my mother in her car, stuck in the 1947 snow on the adjacent hill leading up from Mickleton to Campden. Driving down that way today, possibly the hottest day of the year, I was finding it hard to envisage a blocked road.

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