White Horses

For the last couple of days the view from my house  been shrouded in a milky mist that’s never completely cleared during the day. It reminded me of John Keats To Autumn poem which I read recently and opens ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.’ I wish I’d taken a photo of the non-view because this morning I woke up to blue skies and sunshine, don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. Where I live it’s important to look out of the windows through the winter months because, as if we were a lost tribe in the Arctic, we live in 4 months in shadow every year. Okay, that’s not permanent darkness but you notice when the sun doesn’t shine through windows any more and it feels like a dark cloud has camped out right above the house. That makes it sound worse than it is. This is not a metaphor in case your wondering.

The house is hunkered into a hillside at the bottom of a north facing slope which forms part of Salisbury plain’s escarpment. At the top of the slope a row of mature trees, oaks, beech and sycamore, mark the border and for 4 months a year the sun struggles to make it over the top of the trees, especially now when they are still in full leaf. Luckily at the front of the house we have an expansive view over fields to some low hills in the distance. A railway line cuts through the landscape, far enough away for the noise not to bother us.

I think there’s a haiku in there somewhere.

Autumn comes early | to a North facing slope | the hill is too steep.

(that’s my first haiku – not quite 5-7-5 and seems a bit defeatist)

From the top of the garden I can see 2 white horses. These are Wiltshire white horses, which are a bit of a craze in these parts, hill figures of white horses carved into the chalk, or in some cases concreted in and painted white. The site of one of the oldest in the UK (in the painting by Eric Ravillious, also the concrete one, not visible from my house but not far away) is to commemorate the battle of Ethandun when Alfred the Great saw off Viking invaders in 878. The ones I can see, on a clear day, are more recent, one is Edwardian and one Millennial. It’s a good tradition I think, one that makes Wiltshire special, although other counties have them too.

westbury-white-horse-ravillious

So, I didn’t know I was going to write about white horses. My aim is just to write without editing my thoughts too much and to be disciplined enough to write something every day for a month. Because signing up to Nano Poblano was very last minute, I didn’t really have a plan but figured it was a great opportunity to set up a blog, something I had intended to do for a long while. I’m supposed to be a writer, a blog shouldn’t be a problem should it? I find deadlines motivating, so this was perfect.

Still need to sort out my site – just discovered categories, what a joy!

 

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