My Wild Life
Going out and being with nature is always a wonderful tonic when I’m feeling in need a
Often when writing I can spend days immersed in another world, so leaving my study to escape the demands of many characters and deep emotions to breathe in some reality can be very freeing.
I feel my whole body coming alive and moving in a way that it doesn’t get the chance to when I’m sat at my desk.
I live south of Wotton-underedge and often head for North Nibley with my dogs to wander through the woods and out onto the pasture towards the Tyndale Monument.
I love the feeling of being enclosed under the canopy of trees and then breaking out into a fantastically wide open space with wonderful views of the estuary. I find metaphors abound as I gaze along the Severn to the bridges joining England to Wales – most unusable, but it’s fun and nourishing on just about every level.
We see plenty of wildlife on our walks, rabbits, deer and the odd hare. Depending on the time of the year, there’s an abundance of wild flowers, including orchids, which I love, along with trees at the different stages in their cycle. One of my ambitions is to make a study of trees and flowers so that I can experience the pleasure of identifying them. I think that would make for an even greater connection.
We probably walk for about a mile and a half but it takes a long time because my dogs, a pair of Coton de Tulears, love just to potter about as if they have all the time in the world.
Living in the countryside means I often see wildlife close to my home. It’s not unheard of to look up and see a fox staring through the window at me. It’s always a bit alarming as we have ducks on our pond, although it’s a comfort to know they can fly if they sense they’re in danger.
We regularly feed the birds, great tits, a beautiful woodpecker, robins, pied wagtails, sparrows and way too many crows - I’m told they follow the cows and there are plenty of those in our next field. Squirrels are constant visitors to the feeders performing fascinating acrobatics to get to the nuts, and we have swifts nesting in the garage.
Being close to wildlife is enriching in so many ways. I feel very privileged to live in the Gloucestershire countryside. N