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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Saturday 13 October 2018

Filling the Honey Pots of the Mind

It was a beautiful, sunny day and I had nowhere I had to be apart from at home doing the sort of everyday stuff that doesn't get tackled from one month's end to another because there are always more interesting things to do. So I wrassled the dog into the car and set off for Dartmoor.

My destination, and the starting point for our walk, was Buckfast Abbey on the south-eastern edge of the moor. 

Buckfast Abbey has an interesting story of its own, but as soon as I'd parked, I was up off the lane past Fritz's Grave, heading towards Hembury Woods.

(No one seem to know who Fritz was, by the way.)

Once in the woods, I started to make my way up to the hill fort. 

It was a slow, steep way, with much puffing on my part and patient waiting on Ted's.

Entry through the ramparts

Looking along the ditch

Hembury Castle aka Danes Camp was built during the Iron Age. 

Inside there is an 11th or 12th century motte with a surrounding inner bailey, which might have been used for a short time following the Norman Conquest. 

The legend  - NB there is always a legend - is that at one time the fort was held by the Danes, until some local women allowed themselves to be taken. At night when their captors were asleep, they got up, killed them and let in their countrymen. 

There isn't much of a strategic viewpoint these days on account of all the trees. 

Quite a steep drop down

The next part of our route would take us on a meander back down the hillside to the River Dart at its foot.

It was autumnal and lovely.

The remains of a Viking shield (probably)

Forest fire

A glimpse of the Dart

Local wildlife: Ted ...

... and a crocodile

We wound our way along the right bank of the Dart.

Miss Tick's shambles

The creative team of autumn and sunshine was trying out nifty lighting effects ...

... while the wardrobe department was dressing up in silk-embroidered brocades.

Eventually we had to leave the river and climb back up to the road.

I think Ted misses holidays in Devon as much as I do, as he sat very close to me on a log and we had a bit of a cuddle. 

This day of remembered light, carefully stored in the mind's honey-pots, will have to get us through months of darkness. 

Back at the Abbey there was just time to pick up a modest bottle of tonic wine, much beloved of Glaswegians, I understand, and ex-pat grockles. 

And then it was home. 

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