Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Chase End

Six of us met at Hollybush today, more than usual. The talk about Royal Mail shares made me wonder whether I had neglected to apply out of distaste for the privatisation or merely indolence.

We had the most lovely walk, notwithstanding, clockwise around Chase End Hill, at the "bottom" of the Malverns. We funked the steep climb up to the top, which - at 600 feet - lets you see all round. Even as it was, we had surprisingly long views - to the Sugar Loaf to the South-West and across to Bredon and the Cotswolds from the woodland ride leading into the Bromsberrow Place Estate: the ride runs between many tree varieties, sweet chestnuts especially plentiful.

Gil Greenall's careful stewardship of his Estate is everywhere evident, not just from the signage: the house itself looks magnificent in its parkland - lakes at just the right distance, and White Park cattle grazing before the curiously Neo-Greek West front. From a distance, the long-established trees behind and to the South of the house make it altogether an imperial setting. (It was five years ago that I came there on a CPRE outing.)

Yesterday evening, we went to our first Film Society evening of the new season, having missed the opening night. "No" recounted the final weeks of the Pinochet era in Chile, and the gathering of popular support for a No vote in the referendum. Pablo Larrain's film jerked along rather disconcertingly: the 30-year-old camera, used to convey a suitably historic feel, secured a nice degree of tension throughout. You kept thinking there would be a sting in the tail, but of course there wasn't, just ambiguity.

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