Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When the great Sun has turned his face away ...

There are few pleasures simpler than a walk in an English wood during the Winter months. And few more intoxicating either. Around this part of Buckinghamshire, most of the woods are Beech; High Wycombe was once the centre of the UK furniture manufacturing industry and many of the woodlands around these parts were managed to supply the factories. But there are mighty Oak remnants of the old Saxon forest and Sycamores, Limes and Birches a-plenty (and even a few Sequoia Redwoods, bizarrely).

We took the grandchildren to Common Wood - about a mile from here in the village of Penn - where there are always plenty of horses to admire in the fields around the edge of the woods and plenty of dead leaves on the floor to chuck at each other. As you do. There are some rope swings dotted about the trees in places too and the kids' smiles were evidence of the fun that a bit of old rope and a stick can bring.

The air was crisp, the ground still bore evidence of the night's frost and the sky was clear and blue. There is a quality of light at this time of year - something about the contrast and the polarisation and the long, long shadows - that just screams out to be captured on film. So I did just that.

10 comments:

Debby said...

Your grandchildren are beautiful. Looks like a day to remember, Gramps!

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

What a great spot for a day out with the Grandkids who look to have enjoyed every minute!

Persephone said...

Coincidentally, I did my Christmas cooking preparations while listening to an audio edition of one of my very favourite books The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (read beautifully by Alex Jennings, in this case). The story is set in the fictional Buckinghamshire village of Hunter's Combe which is somewhere between Slough and Maidenhead and I think must not be far from your area. Since the story involves time travel, much is made of the ancient forest that used to be in the area, and the kinds of trees that would have grown there in the thirteenth century. At one point, the hero of the story goes to the Thames and can see Taplow in the distance which is where my great-great-grandfather was born and spent his boyhood. I'm sure you must have encountered this wonderful book which is second in a series. If not, your grandchildren should enjoy them in seven years or so.

Happy New Year, by the way, and Merry Seventh Day of Christmas!

Helen Smith said...

Lovely children, lovely photos. Happy New Year x

Spud said...

wow.. they have got hooooge!

We simply must catch up soon stig!
Happy new year to you Dawny the kids and grandkids.. may 09 outshine 08 for you - that would be something to see!! all the best J&L xx

Stevyn Colgan said...

Debby - Oh yes. Thankfully the genes that created my visage (like a face made from modelling clay by an idiot - Spike Milligan) have skipped at least two generations. Gawd help the great grandchildren ... Have a great 2009! You deserve to have a brilliant year after the trials of this one. x

Rob - They did and thanks for the kind words. Once again, I wish you and 'him indoors' all the best for the New Year. x

Persephone - Actually I haven't read the book althoiugh I know of it. And yes, Maidenhead and Taplow are very near here and share a short-ish stretch of the Thames with Marlow, Henley, Hurley and Windsor and Eton. It's a glorious piece of river (made immortal by Jerome K Jerome of course) and I walk the dogs there at least once a week. Have a great New Year!! x

Helen - Lovely new photo, have a lovely year! x

Murphy (and much better half Lisa) - It's been an extraordinary 2008 ... I aim to make 2009 even more so. And, with a bit of luck, you'll be along for the ride too! Have a Spudtastic 2009 and don't drink too much tonight. Pointless saying that I know, but worth a try! x

willow said...

What beautiful grandchildren you have! I'm looking forward to the day. But, hey, you're not old enough to have grandkids. What gives?! ;^)

Stevyn Colgan said...

Willow - Oh you flatterer you! But yes, I suppose I am a bit young for a Grandad although I have met many that are much younger. The 1st Mrs Colgan and I had our first kiddie when I was 23 and she was 22. My middle daughter had her first when she was 20. And lest you think that the Colgan parents are getting younger ... my parents had me when they were 21. My mum - the great-grandmother family matriarch as she is now - is only 68 ... and her Mum died just two years ago. For a time we did have five generations of Colgans alive and I have the photos to prove it! Have a great New Year at the Manor. x

Blog Princess G said...

Great shots of the littlies. Yes, I was surprised to hear you were a gramps, but thanks for explaining. :)

Stevyn Colgan said...

G - I'm not that old (47) but hanging around with three year olds adds at least 20 years to you ... ooh my back ...