It was cold this morning, and Jeremy and I had to halt a chilly while on our walk up the sunless valley to Tresham while pheasants were being slaughtered. Beaters moved North-Westwards through Knight's Grove putting scores of birds up to fly high over the Guns, each with his (sic) loader. Thus Downton Abbey lives on in Beaufort country, save they now arrive in their Range Rovers, and use magnet-tipped walking sticks to collect the empty cartridge cases.
We warmed up once we were up on the ridge road back towards Alderley, Newark Park peeking through the trees to the North, across Ozleworth Bottom. From Tresham, we watched two mechanised sheep dogs rounding up the flock in order to sweep it down below Furlong's Brake.
We can recommend the pub at Hillesley, now owned by a community cooperative. On a grassy patch adjacent, I saw something yellow: a daffodil is in flower.