Driving off piste down country lanes in the early hours of this morning - two sections of the M4 westbound were closed completely for roadworks and no one had bothered with diversion signs, of course - I was struck by the fact that although I had no real idea where I was, even in the dark there were indications. Admittedly the banks of snowdrops could have been anywhere, but red brick and thatch (so different from Devon's cob) spoke loudly of rural Wiltshire, and when I saw how much gleamier the soil of the rougher tracks were, I recalled the etcher Robin Tanner's love of the old chalk roads of that county. Isn't it wonderful how places wear their vernacularity even in darkness. And if that word doesn't exist, it should do.
Anyhow, it reminded me of the poem 'Earthed' by U A Fanthorpe, which she describes as a love poem to the various places she'd lived in England. I've blogged about before but I love it so here it is again.