Last Sunday was a window between the rain which has been a feature of the South West for the last few months. So it deserved to be used to full benefit.
Cheddar Gorge on a bright crisp morning. Walk away from the faded winter glitz of the tourist track and head around the back of the town to the Southern slopes of the Mendips. Looking back you get views along the Mendip ridge, winter cold brings clear air and when you reach a certain height, above the rooftops of the village, above the trees, your eyes can follow the hills out to the Bristol Channel and across to Wales if the cloud is high. On the right day if there has been snow you will see The Brecon Beacons shining in the sun. Today the view is closer, the mist hangs over the Somerset levels and the only noise is the leaves underfoot and birds in the air.
Always the limestone rocks push through, marked by the passage of water. Cheddar shows its bones, never far from the surface, this is an old landscape and has been used for thousands of years for our needs but is still fighting back against the intrusion.
I love to come to this place, you can still find quiet spots and nature clings to every nook and cranny despite the feet of people circling the Gorge looking for high vantage. For myself, inside the Gorge, up above and even among the visitors buying cheese from the Authentic Cheddar Cheese Shop it relaxes me and the world slows down around me.
Always there is something magical to find, like the sun shining on dew covered grass on a track unused for years. The world is here for us to enjoy, in detail and sometimes in transience, like the frost in the shade before the sun warms the ground.