Drawn by the extravagant breakdance being performed outside our sitting room window by the unidentified peach rose, clearly far more resilient than plastic greenhouses, I ventured outside into the wild, weirdly warming, winds with my camera.
The rose surged backwards and forwards, defying my efforts at focussing;
those in their dedicated garden, where Summertime still has a presence, were more sheltered.
Margaret Merrill, lives up to her top autumn rose billing,
and carpet rose Kent rivals the fallen beech leaves for ground cover.
With a warning of frost and maybe snow in a week’s time, it was probably apt that the batch of colour slides from December 1976 should contain snow scenes. That was a very cold winter following an extremely hot summer.
Jessica, Michael and I were staying with her parents in their beamed and thatched house in Wootton Rivers, Wiltshire.
Mark Pearson, who, had he lived, would have been my father-in-law stands here in front of his home.
The snow was not deep at this time, but there was enough to turn simple ironwork into bejewelled necklaces;
to transform branches of trees into festive yule logs;
and ploughed fields, along which Jessica and Michel walk, into scenic Christmas cake icing.
Piper joins them in this picture. The boy to the left could be Jessica’s nephew, Tim Draper.
Here, Michael trudges on after the others.
We had, then unbeknown to me, found ourselves atop West Kennet Long Barrow.
The West Kennet Long Barrow is a prehistoric burial mound near Avebury. It is one of the largest and best-preserved monuments of its kind in Britain. Only the East Kennet Barrow is longer than this one’s 100 meters. Although we did not do so, visitors,can enter the barrow and explore five empty stone chambers in which humans were buried from 3700 to 2000 BC.
In all, the bones of about 46 individuals have been found in the chambers of the barrow. It appears that bodies were buried in social groups: the west chamber was mainly for adult males; the northeast and northwest chambers for mixed adults; the southeast for the old and the southwest chamber for children.
The tombs contained numerous grave goods, including pottery of various kinds (fragments of 250 different vessels were discovered); beads made of bone, stone and shells; flint tools; and animal bones. The pottery spans a long range of time, from the Earlier to Late Neolithic periods.
I didn’t know the amount of history that lay beneath us.
This evening we dined on the last of the shepherd’s pie; extra mashed potato, a steamed cauliflower and Brussel’s sprouts, all flavour retained. Apple and raisin cake with cream was to follow.