Hello, thank you for dropping in. We are adjusting to the changing routines that a new academic year brings, although things won't really settle until The Mathematician goes back to university on Saturday.
I must admit that I am in a bit of a slump. When my head feels full of cotton wool and my heart is sagging, the Best Beloved knows that I need to go to a high place, literally and geographically, and on Sunday afternoon that's just what we did. We drove to Church Stretton and took The Burway, an ancient route which leads up the Long Mynd. Mynydd is the Welsh word for "mountain" and so this is Shropshire's Long Mountain, a rocky plateau about ten miles long in the Shropshire Hills - of course, if you were one of Malcolm Saville's Lone Piners you will know it well. It's heathland and moorland, grazed by sheep and ponies, and we just missed the heather, we must go a little earlier next year to catch its purple glory.
We stopped to look back down at Church Stretton, so far below us that it looks like Toytown
Eventually we reached the far end of the plateau and got out of the car. This is the Starboard Way, a route for walkers and riders. It was chilly up there and windy, it's always windy -
Now the wind is put to good purpose up here: there has been a gliding club here since the 1930s and we spent a while watching them take off and swoop around the sky. The sheep didn't seem to be particularly bothered, they must be used to it!
And how did we know that we had reached the far end of the plateau? This is how -
Once, in our folly, we drove down this road in a car laden with children and camping gear. Never again! We go the long way round now to the valley below, but we didn't do that this time. No, we stood on the Mynd and drank in this view of the valley - I have made it extra large for you in the hope of conveying some of its glory -
I am so sorry that it's not bathed in golden sunshine but do you see what I mean? Glorious. I find these kind of views very stirring, perhaps because it evokes a non-existent romantic, rural idyll, perhaps because it appears to be untainted by the man-made ugliness of the industrial revolution (although goodness knows I am eternally gratefully for that revolution), perhaps because I consider a patchwork of fields and hedgerows like this to be very English, and I am English, apart from the eighth that's Irish. I can hear Ralph Vaughan Williams playing in my head when I look at this!
We stayed up there for a couple of hours and I came down with the cotton wool blown away and my heart lifted.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x