We spent the morning working, until it was time for the hospital. I left minus bandages and armed with a full complement of skin again, albeit not particularly pretty skin for now. The healing of the burns is going well and I am finally allowed full scale, unimpeded ablutions. Which, in this heat, is wonderful.
Then we headed off into an ancient and sacred landscape, littered with barrows and earthworks, pale stone and mellow brick in search of a pub for lunch. In this area they are not hard to find and we settled for a little place with a petunia filled terrace, ablaze with colour. We talked, ate, laughed and made notes before finding a temporary sanctuary from the heat in ancient stone.
It was a lovely afternoon’s adventuring but thirsty work, so it seemed almost inevitable that the early evening found us on the terrace of the Black Boy, watching the rabbits on the hillside and .. well, me at least… drawing pictures in the condensation that enveloped the cold glass.
As the sun, softly golden and hazy, stooped down to kiss the horizon, I fell in love all over again. Not that my love affair with this land has ever abated or diminished. But sometimes it comes up with a rush from the innermost depths to flood your senses, emotions and being.
Tonight was such a night.
There had been a day chasing landscapes, both those of the green earth and those of myth, magic and legend. There had been the landscape of faith painted in the shape of a shadow on a church wall, the glory of jewel coloured glass and the frozen lace of carved stone. There had been the landscape of history, ancient graffiti, crude sundials and lost names. And the landscape of the soul that wound and entwined its way through all else, as intimately as any lover.
But the stage against which all this was set was England on a summer’s day, and it was beautiful.