An afternoon stolen again, away from festival work, between the Buddhafield (Sunday) 'festival stomach' (till this morning) and the Hatherleigh (tomorrow). Just time in the forest, absorbing the green, which STILL feels an intense treat after the long cold, dun and sere winter... Everything in full leaf, though the rhododendrons and the foxgloves that came after them are now well and truly over... The howling cold wind has gone from the Belvedere this last month or two, and the ferns have gone from unfolding fronds to towering shrubbery. Three deer were on the road today, the one that cuts the main sculpture trail in two. It's amazing how such large creatures disappear so quickly into the undergrowth, their legs like the shadows of small trees, and fur the colour of leaves in darkness.
The landscape was a mixture of green and yellow (as it had been dry for so long before the rain this last week), but much greener that it has been for the last month or more. The Den - the exquisite little 'Hansel and Gretel' house without a roof, made of solid oak on the path not far from the 'storytelling chair' has been moved from that now closed path, to 'the Hub' near the Gallery/cycle hire/cafe etc area. It's been given a tiled roof, which is a bit strange, and now is all 'civilized' with a path to it on a green and pot plants! instead of being a dark half wild thing, set in a dark clearing like a surprise. It looks more loved or cared for in a way, but less visited! More like a sculpture and less like somewhere one sits and finds and discovers and hides in... I think I preferred it in a more obscure setting, just coming across it. It came after the other sculptures (mainly made in Germany) and was made in Devon. It's a beautiful structure, made of delicious oak, smooth and solid to the touch, special to walk through like a long arch to another realm. Wonderful to sit in as though pretending it's a real house of fairytales (as many did when sited in its previous glade).
As ever, the hills cleared the mind of all the daily detritus, with their clear views of Moor on one side, and Sea on the other...
Exeter Respect Festival
4 years ago