A muddy meander
FOLLOWING in the footsteps of those who had gone before us along the muddy track—pheasants, sheep—and the zigzag imprints of huge tractor tyres, we embarked on a three-mile walk from our home in Dorset to the Queen’s Arms at Corton Denham in Somerset.
With our sights set on a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc (me) and a pint of Legless Liz, an ale brewed for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday (my husband), we picked our way down the lane, marvelling at the discreet crimson flower of the female hazel catkin at the base of the male’s blousy yellow tails and noting that, although February is a bare, hungry month, buds are forming on barren twigs and celandines appearing in hedgerow bottoms.
Passing a graveyard of rusty farm rollers and harrows, we admired a herd of Belgian Blue cattle chewing contentedly on silage and delighted in a skylark trilling high in the sky. Not long after I’d asked ‘are we nearly there yet?’, the pub hove into view.
Pleased with ourselves for having trekked all that way, we shared a ploughman’s—pork pie, local Montgomery cheese and chutney—before making our way home. I can’t say the return journey was easy, but we arrived ruddy cheeked, mud-splattered and encouraged that it won’t be long until the countryside bursts back to life. PL