Saturday, 17 November 2012

brewing up in the woods


What's Westonbirt like at the mo?

Sometimes it doesn't take much for an instant adventure.

If it's anything like Leigh Woods, pretty colourful. I'd rather go to Great Doward though. Wild, and... free!


Two hours later we were there.


You can take a flask of tea on your travels, but it's just not the same as a Trangia steaming away, is it?



That's the Biblins down there, where I first came on a school camping and canoeing trip. The site's run by the Forestry Commission, for youth groups. Beautiful place. Especially first thing in the morning, when the sounds echo through the mist and the stags are barking in the forest.

No stags today; I guess they've finished rutting now. Just the nuthatches and the crows. And the stillness in between.

We got lost in the woods, wobbled across the swing bridge and back again, then scrambled up to the Seven Sisters, the limestone crags that overhang the gorge, and had our tea and pasties.

Heading back for Bristol, we stopped just north of St Arvans, as the low sun was lighting the trees spectacularly. Actually, it was on a drive down the Wye Valley that I composed a haiku for the first time in ages, a few years ago, and liked it so much that I started making a habit of composing haiku.

Damn- a speed camera?
-phew, no- the low autumn sun
flashing through the trees

what country, friend, is this?

This is the view across Lancaut, a peninsula within a loop of the Wye, with the cliffs of Wintour's Leap beyond. I learned from Deborah that the font from the ruined church there has found its way to Gloucester Cathedral, which is a step up in the world, but give me the wild any day.