Sunday, August 17, 2008

The drive, strider and stopping place.

These posts are about this walk:

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1. We turn a corner and look down an undulating three-mile drive to Windsor Castle. The road is dotted with tiny citizens and a few deer walk over from the left, stepping through the double avenue before running off across the park.

2. A long-legged boat winch waits to roll down the slipway to draw a boat out of the water. I get the feeling that if it has to wait much longer, it might lock its wheels and walk stiffly away on rattling metal legs.

3. We are looking for a place to stop. But the hand-wide path runs between fence and river. At a footbridge over a ditch, we find a flattened place where the bank has dropped. We sit with cake and apples and watch damsel flies hover and disappear while the Thames slips by.

4. My aunt says that on long journeys when she was little, she would pick her favourite features from the places passed and weave them into a dream house.

5. Mistletoe looks deep green when growing on a tree with budgerigar yellow leaves.

6. Almost back at the car we nearly pass the Airforce Memorial. But I think that Nick would like to hear about it, so we go in. The long garden gives into a courtyard surrounded by cloisters listing names of the dead. The benches are dotted with offerings -- flowers real and silk, and even a sheet of photos telling an American airman who fell in the second world war that his exploits are family legend and showing pictures of his now elderly baby sisters. The white cloister opens into the chapel which has a window looking out down the hillside at London and all around spread before us like a Lego city. From here, and from the tower, it is easy to understand why anyone would want to rule the blue air.