Saturday, 12 July 2008

Thinking in circles

The weather this week has been grim but we have still had a good week. The garden had taken a battering from the torrential rain but apart from a few small lettuce being ripped apart by the deluge it all seems to be surviving. Today I was going to plant out more seedlings but again the rain has thwarted my planning.

Instead I took William our magnificent Welsh Cob around the hill as exercise for us both, I never grow tired of the views and at the moment the fields are taking on different shades of green and gold as various crops ripen or farms gather the hay and silage.

William was well behaved as usual and we are both getting fitter as this time neither of us had to stop as we made the hilly circuit. Because of the rain we weren't tormented by flies either so in all it was a pleasant amble round. We saw our Suffolk's high on the next hill eyeing us suspiciously and getting ready to bolt if we showed any indication of turning their way.

Our route took us past the other houses on the hill, all were empty as usual, all very imaginatively have the same name as the hill differing only by being referred to as lower, middle and upper. I think its only been on two occasions have all the houses been occupied in the last 18 months. We share the hill with Mad Keith the technohermit and as we walked past his abode all was quiet, he has kept a lower profile than usual since he escaped from hospital last week.

The path took us to the Haunted House on the hill, this squat white walled building with its peeling black paintwork was a silent witness to our progress. Our neighbour, The Oracle, wouldn't venture as close to the house as William, four of the magnificent seven and myself now found ourselves. The house stands alone in a small garden which, despite the fact that the fence is down along one side, sheep never seem to venture into. Our garden only has to have the gate open for a few seconds and feral sheep rush in and strip the place of all consumable foliage, but this one they never seem to get into. The field to the rear and side of the house has nettles, thistles and weeds whereas the Haunted House has a verdant green lawn. As I listened to the lazy plod of Williams hoof fall I pondered on the fact that the dogs also looked like they were avoiding going too close as they all crossed to the other side of the track and had definitely sped up. William and I crossed the front of the house, me looking for movement at the dark windows, he ears pricked forward eyeing up the lush grazing opportunity passing him by.

We began the steep descent to the main track leaving the house alone. Perhaps the stories about the house are true. The Oracle certainly believes them.

Fresh marks on the wet grass showed that Mad Keith was out on his bike somewhere so presumably his indigestion is better. William isn't the most chatty of walking companions so I let my mind wander, thinking about how life has changed. All those years racing round on motorbikes at suicidal speeds, the extreme sports, the adventure training and lengthy expeditions away from home, the endless training, I was the absolute gym rat, I was, I concluded, undoubtedly looking for something.

As I returned to Rock HQ with my one horse power and my four wet canine companions, despite the rain, I felt an incredible sense of wellbeing, I felt extremely happy I had left that all behind.

This is what I have been looking for, my life with my family and animals here at The Rock.
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