Feeling worse the wear for the after effects of an unpleasant virus – yesterday on my travels I chose to follow my nose. It needed the practise. Normally it takes me in the direction of the nearest bakewell tart and coffee. This time, I seemed to have an animal instinct for ..animals.
After narrowly avoiding running over a tiny red squirrel doing an olympian sprint across the road, and thus unavailable for a photoshoot – I arrived far too early for cafes to be open and was treated to an exceptional pot of coffee by the cheery breakfast staff of a lovely old hotel and a view of the lake where this swan guarded her brood from dangerous drivers, duvet-fillers, and eager-beaver photographers.
It was worth getting up so early, as, having left home behind under a gloomy low cloud, I was rewarded by breakfast taken under a watery, but very promising sun. The promise was fulfilled. Nosing the car toward the hills I passed yet more animals taken by surprise at finding a human on holiday in their neck of the woods.
By now I was following the sun, as well as my nose – which is just as well as the nose is not a good map-reader. I found lanes with inviting footpaths, and farms whose cows were as happy to see me, as I them.
These youngsters were entirely unafraid of me – fighting for a ringside seat to see this curious upright, two-limbed creature stepping out from a purring metal box.
Dropping in to one of my favourite bolt-holes, for a late afternoon snack found me eating my way to supporting a new venture that creates funds for re-homing elderly Llama’s.. it seems even my appetite was in tune with my animal instinct.
Perhaps the scene was set last week when this iron horse sculpture oversaw my lunch in an orchard..in a walled garden not so very far from where I was now. It was full of mystery, and fallen apples. A visit which has so far produced several bouts of print-making, the makings of a poem (well, maybe a limerick) .. and even more of chutney.
The landscapes on the way home, as the sun began to fade over the hills of a favourite valley, were worth the 75 tired miles driving back. Here’s a sample of one of these landscapes – reworked as a possible textile design (as is the swan lake image at the head of this post).
Sometimes our animal instinct leads us in attractive and rewarding directions.