Moon over Crowborough

When I added the category "Favourite Spots" recently I had in mind to showcase some of the specific country parks, sites of special interest and local beauty spots but while we were out walking the dog just before dusk one evening last week, it struck me that anywhere can lift the spirit if the conditions are just right.

And I need my spirits lifting. I find Brexit and the political news depressing and frustrating in equal measure, so I look for any small pleasure to help to brighten my mood.

We had finished planting our new fruit trees, which had taken longer and proved more difficult than we anticipated due to the very stoney ground, and were feeling fairly pleased with ourselves. With the longer days there was still time to take the dog on an extended walk. Give him a treat. The webmaster took some persuading. He'd done most of the digging and said he was whacked, but the Young Dog must have heard my suggestion because at the bottom of the lane he firmly turned right and headed for the woods.

The path through Lion's Paw wood was very muddy. The Webmaster made a few comments under his breath, clearly complaints, but was remarkably restrained, even when he slipped a couple of times. I could tell he was tired and didn't like sliding in the mud, so I suggested an alternative route of about the same length but which avoid the need to return through the mud. More road than I had hoped, but not a route we take often, and not one tracked in our collection of Walking Routes.

We followed the path up towards Lodge Barn Road, back onto paved road. The dog did not seem to mind his foreshortened opportunity for kicking up leaves and scattering leaf-mould. The banks and verges of the lanes kept him happy. 

The walk was pleasant in the late afternoon sun. Simply having the extra hour of daylight was glorious and it reminded me of a comment made to me many years ago by a colleague who had moved from California and at the time lived in Manchester. He'd suggested the national character was shaped by the weather and the amount of sunshine. If you have no daylight leisure time you are repressed, stressed and grouchy. If you can spend hours out in the sunshine walking, swimming, gardening, playing sport or just lazing around after work you will be more relaxed, carefree and laid back.  Short days are like small enclosed spaces, they fasten you in and cramp your style. Long days let you stretch out and expand your style. 

The moon was out and the sun was still shining. A week after Brexit the blue sky and the golden light was bitter sweet. All that was missing were the stars.