walk to the hills that the old town nestles in

June 20, 2010

Just a stroll down to the Old Town, buy some fish, then on up Tamarisk Steps to the East Hill to look at the views – quite stormy weather with a constantly changing operatic sky – looking down on Tackleway, then to the north . .

 . . and back to the west and thinking the little town looks sort of higgeldy – piggeldy; then turning  to the south and observing the lines on the beach beyond the stade made by the ropes and kit from the fishing fleet . .

.  swinging back to look at the pier  – the town is relatively quiet; no trippers today as the weather is still ‘inclement’ . Half a turn to the view of the cliffs and another nudge round to a glimpse of West Hill.

I like to walk north along the top of the hill and take the path that drops down by All Saints Church, then cross The Bourne and climb the stepped ramp through the grassy areas and trees up the West Hill. It’s a path that offers light and shade, variety in vegetation and a few resting places. The blackberry is in flower and also the frothy umbels on the elder . . .

 . . a little bench faces east to provide this view of High Wickham rising up across the valley; the sky is clearer now . . .

. . the last flight and then on to the allotment to pick some herbs for the fish, but first we have to shelter in the shed from yet more rainy showers  . . .

 . . . some fennel is possible but we decide on  mint and parsley; pick spinach and some strawberries too. The Ratte potatoes aren’t ready yet . .

 . . . just notice that B, my neighbour, has hung a large float from his bean frame – he’s not growing any runners this year . .

. . I admire the combination of kanutia and alchemilla and then move along to look again at the poppies . .

 . . this is supposed to Papaver orientale ‘Patty’s Plum’ – it isn’t, but looks good anyway and I’m glad to have it. Other poppies are exploding with colour and joyfulness. C. was surprised that they had no perfume. They look so wonderful it seems rather a tall order to expect perfume too . . .

. . poppies and nigella . . .

. .  and nigella with lavender. I told C. that nigella was her grandma’s  favourite flower. My ma told me this when I was very young, under 5, and I remember her calling it ‘Love-in-the-Mist’ . I was enthralled . . .

 . . love this bud and also the silvery combination below. Back home, downhill now, walking through rain and then at last some sun. It’s been a funny summer. We talk a little about someone new arriving in November that will be close to us, we hope. This poem is for that little someone!

DANCE there upon the shore;

What need have you to care

For wind or water’s roar?

And tumble out your hair

That the salt drops have wet;

Being young you have not known

The fool’s triumph, nor yet

Love lost as soon as won,

Nor the best labourer dead

And all the sheaves to bind.

What need have you to dread

The monstrous crying of wind?

To a Child dancing in the Wind  William Butler Yeats

2 Responses to “walk to the hills that the old town nestles in”


  1. What a beautiful post. A leisurely walk with you taking in all the sights. The allotment flowers looking ravishing. Here the poppies have come and gone. They flower so briefly and I always regret they’re not around for longer. Now all have collapsed in tattered piles, like drunken debutantes on their backs in the shrubbery with their taffeta ball gowns over their heads! (That makes it sound as though I’ve had a lot to do with drunken debutantes, but I fear I haven’t!)

  2. julia Says:

    That’s very good description of poppies flopping – party dresses/ball gowns, yes and of course, can-can petticoats edged in gingham that my poor mother had to run up on the sewing machine – made of net which was quite stiff so incredibly itchy around the waist – Brigitte Bardot’s fault! We’ve had extra long flowering seasons on everything except daffs so an amazing year so far but then I recall saying the same thing last. Age!


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