The forgotten pleasure of an evening stroll.

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire

I haven’t been on an evening walk all year. It’s time to put that right. Will you come too? We’ll go along the woodland path behind our house.

Beatswell Wood

Look! On either side as we walk , there are bright kingcups, primroses, wood anemones.

And here we are in the village, by the pond. Are there any ducklings yet? Apparently not – no ducks either just now.

North Stainley village pond.

We’ll turn towards home. Only a short walk. But we can watch as the sun goes down, and have a few quiet words with the horse in the field. Not a bad way to begin the end of the day.

Jo’s Monday Walk

Bright Square

Getting in touch with my inner French paysanne

Ariège, Ripon

Beatswell Wood.

I was walking back from my friend Claire’s through Beatswell Wood the other day when I noticed it.  A fallen branch.  A nicely rotting fallen branch.  Then smaller branches, conveniently broken into wood-burning-stove like lengths.  My inner French peasant knocked urgently at my brain. ‘You can’t leave those!’ she said, in perfect English. ‘Fuel for free!  Whaddya mean you’ve got no bag?  What are arms for?  Get on with it!’

And it’s true.  No self-respecting French country person – man or woman – would think of leaving for a walk without a just-in-case (‘au cas où’) bag.  Here’s an account of what we used to do in France, especially in autumn.

Yesterday we were better prepared.  We both set forth, equipped with large strong bags, just big enough to collect stove-length pieces of wood, or ones dried out enough to break in two.  A stout thick branch each – to be sawn up later – completed our haul.  Kindling sorted.  A day or two’s heat sorted.  Well, you know what they say about wood, and about how it heats you several times?  We aren’t woodcutters.  But we do gather it, then stack it, then burn it.  That’s three times.  That’s good value.

The path to the woods.

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