Thursday, 6 February 2014

Appalling calling

Soon after leaving Whittington in the Coln Valley on this morning's walk across to the Churn, I passed this gateway into Sandywell Park. Sadly, little remains of that estate's grand past, as depicted by Kip 300 years ago: the house itself was converted into flats some time ago.

It was dry then, but this was the only photo-op. I had: the rain came down, continuing relentlessly till I reached my destination, the Colesbourne Inn. And as I set foot inside the front door, mine host appeared to say, "Sorry, no food: we've had a power cut."

On the ridge below St Paul's Epistle, Mark Vestey's boundary wall is under repair. Briefly, I joined the friendly man from Chedworth labouring away under his tarpaulin, placing stone on stone: though not nearly as elaborate a construction as at Sandywell, it seemed to bear out the truth of Pam Ayres' lines:

I am a dry-stone waller,
All day I dry-stone-wall,
Of all appalling callings,
Dry-stone-walling’s worst of all.

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