Scotney Old & New

At the end of January, I followed the small amount of sunlight to Scotney. It’s really old – c. 1378. Even the “new” castle is old around 1843. Lots of people were out walking; a bit of fresh air goes a long way at this time of year. A robin came and hung out with me for a while, and a few flowers starting to bring a bit of colour into the garden.

It was muddy. I always forget this until my walking shoes are coated and it’s too late (or I am too lazy) to go back for my wellies.

This time I found the icehouse – where they used to refrigerate things before refrigerators – it was surprisingly deep, although the exterior was small. It was strangely atmospheric, and must have been quite an undertaking when it was excavated.

Also a little spring, almost forgotten at the very edge of the property. It must have been prized in it’s day, as it was surrounded by stones. A little addition to my walks here in the future.

Seeking the snow

A couple of weekends ago, it was snowing at home but not laying, so in the bid for fresh air and the real stuff I went to Ightham which is about 350 ft higher up the hill. Just enough for a little tiny bit of laying snow….and a bit of a blizzard.

Ah, it makes me happy to be in the snow. The woods were virtually deserted – just the odd hardy dog walker. It was lovely and atmospheric. Just how I like it! A few Catkins to prove that Spring might come, eventually. But for now the depths of winter….

 

 

 

Walled

So I had a little trip to Penshurst Place. It’s ages since I’ve been. I went on a whim, following the sunshine rather than heading to Knole as planned, which was under cloud. Still it was a bit of a strange walk, as the house and gardens are closed for the winter, so all I could do was skirt the perimeter.  I felt, as must have been the case for most people for centuries, shut out of this wealthy house, held a bay by walls and gates, the interior a mystery….

I also walked down to the upper reaches of the Medway. You can’t canoe here, but lower down you can. Still it was nice to see this bit, even though it looked murky with extra rain and mud washed in from the fields.

A breath of January air. What a relief!

Winter

No snow here (a bit of shame in my book), but the hellebores are on the brink of flowering – just so you know that winter will not last forever. The blackbirds have had most of the crab apples, and the last ones all have little beak marks in them!

It’s bitterly cold here today. Spring still seems far away. But at least the light is starting to return, and the buds let us know now not to despair too much…

Catching Up

Been sick, so all my photos have become a bit backed up. Therefore this is a little review of December.

A walk round the back of Ightham on a sunny winters day. The light fades so early at this time of year. So nice to be out in the fresh air.

A few of the remains of the allotment. I’ve planted out the broad beans for an early start, and the garlic, which needs some frosts to split the cloves. My plan has already been amended…..

Finally a Christmas Eve stroll. Having been ill it helps to get out a bit, although I just want to sleep immediately afterwards. It helps to combat the cabin fever. But now we are past the solstice, I’m looking forward to the return of the light. See you next year xxx