If ever I saw
blessing in the air
I see it now in this
still early day
Where lemon green
wet sunlight on the
powder of my eye
Early spring sunlight filtered gently through the windows promising a perfect day to walk in the valley immortalised by Laurie Lee. This, his centenary year, has been marked with the purchase of woodland in the Slad Valley, thus forever safeguarding the landscape that he loved and which inspired his classic Cider with Rosie.
1959 - First edition of Cider with Rosie via
We came across a field where over 60 fence posts had been painted with badgers carrying out human functions. A witty protest in opposition to the badger cull being experimentally carried out in our area.
The church where Laurie now lies is diagonally across the road from The Woolpack public house. The pub itself played a starring role in his work as the young Lee would gaze in through its steamed up windows, and it is where he remained a regular until his death.
Climbing up higher we came to an old Drovers' road. Before refrigeration there was only one way to get fresh meat to market and that was alive. The Drovers were trusted with valuable herds of cattle, sheep, and geese, and had to keep them healthy and under their firm control to get them to market safely.
A Drover on horseback with a Dog Driving Two Cows and a Calf by Charles Towne - 1810 - National Museums Liverpool
Across the valley sitting high on the hillside in an enviable position, H suddenly spotted the classic 1960s home of a friend, who has now sadly died. She was an artist, and the split level interior houses a wonderful light contemporary space. The huge windows command stunning views through gaps in the hills to the mighty River Severn.
Finally we found Laurie's wood, but will return again when the leaves have opened, and the bluebells are in flower.
No need to retrace our steps a different pathway strewn with newly emerging wild garlic led us back down in to the valley.
I remember, too,
the light on the slopes
long shadows in tufts
The central post states "STOP THE BADGER CULL"