Old Winchester Hill

On holiday from work for two weeks now, and trying to make the most of it while dodging the weather. Took Little Ro, my second-eldest daughter for a walk up Old Winchester Hill in a brief window between showers. Well worth it, the view of cloud shadows rolling across the landscape was magnificent. It’s a place I love very much – I used to come here as a kid in the early eighties. At the time they were still clearing up unexploded mortars from World War 2 (the hill was used as a mortar testing range) and there were warning signs everywhere. It always seemed a bit scary as a result.


The iron age fort at the top is another source of fascination – you can’t help thinking about the people who lived and died there thousands of years ago and what that must have been like, and how different the landscape they viewed would have been.


Now, there’s just the wildlife and the walkers.

Garden notes

Writing this from my own little tiny bluebell wood at the bottom of the garden. Worked all weekend to sort the place out so it’s at least respectable for sitting in and pottering round as opposed to relentlessly depressing, as has been the case since about October. Getting chilly now, but worth it, the last rays of sunlight come over the top of the house and catch the gnarly and ivy covered trees at the bottom and pick out the bluebells in front of them. The wooded bit doesn’t look good for long in the year, only in spring. All other times it just turns to mud, either the marshy mud of waterlogged winter or the cracked mess of waterless summer. In spring though, it’s gorgeous.

I’ve got plans for it, I’ve always got plans – just, as usual, thwarted by a lack of money to put them into action. I made a list of a whole bunch of shade loving plants I could put down here – giant hostas, a patch of hellebores, some ferns. I could make this bit look fantastic if I could spare a couple of hundred quid to throw at it, but there’s the whole ‘feeding six people on one salary’ thing to contend with right now so a stack of extravagant plants isn’t on the agenda. One day, one day.

Today though, it’s all cool. I’m back to being at peace with the garden as opposed to at war with it, which is a nice feeling.