O take me from the busy crowd,
I cannot bear the noise!
For Nature's voice is never loud;
I seek for quiet joys.
We took the annual pilgrimage to the Trimley Marshes Blackthorn patch as Mrs Dave felt the call to make some Sloe gin. Now, we don't have a "secret Sloe patch of which (we) speak proudly and guard jealously" as John Wright writes in Hedgerow (River Cottage Handbook No 7) but we do have two regular patches that tend never to fail us.
One of the patches is over the river at Bawdsy. It's a tiny fenced off wild field but we've never been told off for entering and helping ourselves. The other is the Trimley one we went to yesterday.
We had a good haul of Sloes, we'd managed to time it just right and find plenty of juicy ones amongst
Near to the car park we stopped to look back over the fields and tracks that we have wandered across this past quarter of a century and admired the Stratocumulus clouds looming over the horizon. at least, I think that's they are. I'm sure someone will tell me differently. I'd left my phone at home updating so Mrs Dave took the picture above.
Bloody Apple had sent me an email saying that I had to update my phone to continue getting updates for Twitter - which I have continued to use although I'm not obsessed by it! Unfortunately that means that my iPhone screen now looks totally different and all modern. Obviously I can't use it properly and spend all my time trying to find things that were a doddle before. Welcome to the future, one where you're never allowed to stay still.
Whilst walking along the tracks yesterday we looked back over the past few months and hoped we'd made the right choices. Both of us going down to three days a week has meant a huge cut in income but we feel that the benefits outweigh the 'benefit' of earning full salaries but at the beck and call of our paymasters. The slight distancing from the everyday at school has meant a healthier outlook and the opportunity to feel more in control. We can afford to wander these lanes without guilt - the piles of marking are much smaller! This last point is a huge bonus for me now that I have dropped English teaching completely.
So, yes, we reasoned, we have made the right choice and we look forward to retiring from the classroom come August - well, July really - and can wander these lanes without any guilt whatsoever. Our days can be enjoyed away from crowds and noise and listen more intently to Nature's voice as John Clare wrote.