Even though I lived in a sizeable town as a child the countryside seemed much more part of my life in those days. There was a cattle market in the very middle of the town. We’d take trips to look at the cows and sheep and pigs sometimes on a Thursday.
If we went to the countryside to visit Grandma and Granddad at their house in Gotham we’d see the flowers and blossom in the fields from the bus as we travelled. And often we would go for a walk with Granddad on the hillside opposite. Some of my favourite memories are from those days.
But there is precious little of that life left in England.
France however has retained its rural charm. I am nostalgic for the scenes of my childhood but I am not searching for them. Our life in France simply delivers food for my soul. To quote Julie’s mother “France is like England was, before they spoiled it”.
Julie and I went for a walk in the little lane that leads to our house on Monday evening. No further than 200 metres away from our house and the cats Colin and Mouse walked with us. The verges and fields are full of flowers. Violas, stitchwort, dandelions and daisies, celandine, violets, cowslips, strawberries, bluebells, ground ivy. And a rainbow touched down on the house.