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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.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

TED Walks in the time of Coronavirus Pt 5

We marked May Day with a return walk to Splatts Abbey Wood. The Beltane celebrations were especially disrupted this year. The Government had hijacked the Monday bank holiday to turn it into a VE celebration, rather than give the livestock an extra day off. And Bristol's Jack in the Green celebration was cancelled because of the virus situation. (Which is, of course, what they should have happened with the VE Day parties too, but didn't. Hopefully there won't be a spike in Covid-19 cases in a couple of weeks' time.) 

No one had told nature it was all off, though. The bluebells might have all but finished, but the red campion was beginning to bloom ...

... as was this dog rose ... 

... and there was a path of may blossom petals to lead us into the lovely leafy depths.

We went a slightly different route this time and saw some wonderful trees, like this coppiced ash ... 

... and this ivy-covered oak, which was adamant that there was going to be a green man this year, after all. 

On the way back we passed the most recent farmhouse pertaining to Stanley Farm, which dates back to the 13th century. This beautiful building was built in 1860 in the Gothic Revival style by W E Godwin when the farm was amalgamated into a model farm complex with Wallscourt Farm. It now belongs to the MOD, hence the fencing. 

The remainder of the more recent TED Walks have taken us over the golf course, and on and around the golf course while play is suspended, and over the meadow at the back and through the wood to Charlton Common. With a lot of sunsets. 

It sounds as if there are ravens nesting in the magnificent ash tree in the gully at the eastern end of the course.
Whitethorn at its height.

Ted doesn't really understand the monkeys' compulsion to watch the sun set, night after night. 

He also doesn't like it when the female monkey lags behind taking photos. 

One evening it looked as if the buttercups were poised to take over from the lady's smock and the cowslips ... 

... only for the meadow to be covered in pignut a couple of days later.

But mostly it's been trees ... 

The perfect little oak

Another mad ash

The tree straight off a Clarice Cliff plate

The beautiful witchy whitethorn, tree number 2936,  that even Ted knows not to pee on
And skies ...

And above all, sunsets ...

The universe loves us

It's been idyllic.

We've even had a sun pillar. 

Though about a week back, white lines appeared on the grass marking the public rights of way over the course. It made us wonder if the golf club knew something we didn't. And sure enough a couple of days ago an announcement appeared on the club's Facebook page: 'Boris says we can play!!!' As if 'Boris' was their personal mate, rather than the incompetent that has overseen the wiping out of the VE generation. 

We said goodbye to all the trees on the fairway, and let Ted have a last paddle in the small pond. 

It's been fantastic, but it was only ever Fairyland.

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