At my daughter’s insistence we went this week on a walk in the country. We pulled on our wellies and drove to Henley-on-Thames (very quaint, very twee, we’re not in North London anymore, Dorothy) and dutifully walked the wide open spaces of the Chiltern Hills.
Actually these wide open spaces are mainly other people’s property which, by law, they have to let us ramble through. And we did enjoy their vast lands, coming upon clumps of deer, spotting hawks skimming the air, nuzzling horses wrapped in their wintery coats.
The snow was still quite thick on the ground. As we walked along the icy back country lanes we came upon gorgeous houses, each one it seemed with a requisite Landrover and a Mini parked in their substantial drive and we got to picturing ourselves living in the country, riding horses along the green, wandering aimlessly around the downs. It’s a vision my daughter is enamored of. Whereas my son, who hates walking, who moans and groans and must be goosed on by a trickle of sweets in my pocket, prefers London.
We finished off our fine country day with a pub stop and a very English diversion: chocolate marmalade pudding and a pint. And then walked back to Henley in the dusk, a ¾ moon shining bright.
Back in London, we stopped at a corner shop for provisions and as I exchanged hello’s with the Turkish shop owner and waved across the street at a neighbour I realized how much I too prefer London. The lights, the energy, the people . We also have a church spire in the distance. Fewer hawk and deer perhaps, but lots of people to talk to.
And still the moon shines over us.
photo by The Hideaway (flickr)