Spring was busy and I hardly got to the hills, not least as two other members of the arts Collective I belong to were staying with me for three months! Then a lot of the summer, more of it even than last year, was spent away at the festivals, performing in new shows and putting up marquees, and seeing other parts of the country like Hay-on-Wye, Glastonbury, Cornwall, Eastnor Castle Deer Park and suchlike.
But at long last, three weeks ago now, (but there was lots of admin to catch up on, and worse, coming back to somewhere with slugs in the bathroom, pictures hanging from the walls, dust and cobwebs, and all those things that happen when you only return for a couple of days between events, to chuck one lot of stuff on the floor, and grab a load of different stuff!) but at long last, I got back to the Haldons.
I knew it was a hostage to fortune starting a blog called 'A Year in the Haldon Hills', but it was on the heels of a years where pretty much every Sunday except over the three months of the summer when even so, I managed to get there once during most fortnights, that I thought - all those skies, all those trees, seasons, changes to the paths and sculptures...they all ought to be put down somewhere, captured in some way however imperfectly...
Anyway, it's a September entry now and in October at that, but here it is. Had the cunning idea (without a day free) of getting up earlier and getting to the Forest well before 9am. It was so warm! For September (as it has been since for October) and the heat of the day had not yet begun. It was still warm enough to go dressed lightly, without sleeves, but there was mist in the valley and view from the ridge. A beautiful soft golden light fell shafting through the still livid green trees as we walked the trail. Almost no one there, we saw deer close to the path, bolt as we approached. At points, the light in many rays dazzling out from behind certain pines was simply breath-taking. 'This is what I came to see!' And of course the light was in a different direction at that time of day, and so all was new again. A couple of hours later, the heat had begun, and I was as always amazed and grateful for the coolness of the shadow and deep shade of the Forest at many parts. And left enchanted with the laser lights of the faerie discotheque, the rolling dried ice of the fog, and running deer party-goers.
Exeter Respect Festival
4 years ago