The Family made the most of the sunshine last Sunday, driving over to Devil’s Dyke near Brighton, an historic beauty spot on the South Downs Way, that is named after the huge dry valley that carves its way through ridges of rolling chalk grassland.
None of the photographs I took do justice to the depth and scale of the valley. The panorama above, taken from the eastern side, completely conceals the 300 foot deep valley, which according to one of the many stories in local folklore, was dug by the Devil to allow the sea to flood the churches in the Sussex Weald. The digging disturbed an old woman who lit a candle, or angered a rooster causing it to crow (depending on which legend you ‘believe’), making the Devil think that morning was fast approaching. The Devil then fled, leaving his trench unfinished.
Anyway, Children of Mine – my own little Devils – thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon out.
Especially Daughter of Mine, who delighted in all things yellow (her favourite colour – check out those shoes – and yes, she does like butter), including all 395 of the Cinnabar Moth caterpillars she and her brother counted that were feeding on the yellow ragwort.
The 'tiny' Family kite flying by the 'giant' windmill
The Family went on an impromptu walk to Halnaker Windmill last weekend. Daughter of Mine and I were out shopping for costume accessories for the show we are both in this week and got a text from Husband of Mine saying that he and Son of Mine had gone up to the windmill to fly kites. So we met them up there, after stopping at home for essentials. Flasks of tea. And my camera.
So they flew the kites, whilst I wandered on Halnaker Hill, snapping away.
I was struck by how tiny everything looked when compared to the windmill – the Family, the kites they were flying, the tiny planes with their vapour trails criss-crossing the sky, the wild flowers and grasses on the hill – even how tiny the features of the coastline looked.
Yet the windmill itself looks tiny from afar. We are lucky enough to be able to see it from our house; the photo below was taken on Boxing Day last year when the snow was still on the ground.
Halnaker Windmill looking 'tiny' from afar
Here’s some more ‘tiny’ views taken that afternoon:
Laying in the grass for a few shots made everything 'tinier' still
Looking south to the 'tiny' features of the Sussex coast
The 'tiniest' of buttercups
Right. Probably about time I mentioned a hill in my blog. I got into walking early on my relationship with Husband of Mine*; in a field of cows on the Isle of Wight; on the South Downs and then in the mountains of Slovenia – in fact, it was Svinjak near Bovec that pretty much cemented things in 1988 (he proposed; I accepted).
Svinjak from east of Bovec
This was followed a couple of years later by a holiday in the English Lake District, carting the In-Laws of Mine’s* luggage from B&B to B&B while they walked the Coast to Coast walk, in return for the use of their car for the duration of the holiday. Despite the lousy campsite at Bassenthwaite, I fell in love with Keswick in the North Lakes, and it is here I escape to in the flesh, or in my head – when times are good, or bad, or in-between. The header at the top of my blog is one of the most photographed shots in the Lakes – Catbells from the shores of Derwentwater – with another favourite family climb, Castle Crag, just visible in the foreground at the end of the lake. I’m proud to say the photograph is one of mine – I’m no expert, but then to me the mountains never fail to show their best side when I point my camera at them.
The Family – Daughter of Mine* and Son of Mine* – now have to share our love of walking; at the moment it seems quite happily. Here’s a snap taken last weekend on a walk from Amberley to Arundel – casting our family shadow across the Arun valley.
*The Family of Blood – Doctor Who, Series 3 – share such scary coincidences with my immediate family that I thought these pseudonyms to be appropriate. The resemblance is most apparent in Son of Mine and Daughter of Mine, who are indeed sometimes “gaseous entities that can control Human bodies” (namely mine – “twist”, “little” and “finger” are words that come to mind). And The Family are all fans of DW – past, present and future…