It’s warm for the end of September. It rained heavily last night. I wish I had worn my wellies instead of my old faithful comfy-but-holey walking shoes. The rain has washed the soil from the chips of blue and white pottery that now glisten in the furrows of the freshly ploughed field. I wonder how they ended up here. Did somebody throw their teapot in the bin? Who knows! I can’t help putting them in my pocket. I suppose they’re on a journey too. Maybe it’s a good thing coming home with me…they might even end up being part of an artwork. But for now, they’ll have a quick wash and go on my kitchen windowsill with all my other bits and bobs.
I once found a Victorian coin on this walk. It wasn’t shiny, but something made me stop and stare until I realised it was a coin. It had practically disintegrated by the time I cleaned it. Spending many years in the mud had taken it’s toll. It wasn’t valuable (yes, I did check!) but it was treasure to me nonetheless.
That’s the thing about walking an elderly Labrador; you get time to dither and observe. Going at snail’s pace makes you tune into your senses. I have become aware of the sounds around me; a donkey braying, farm machinery, crows, wood pigeons and blackbirds and as I walk I notice the changing light. The clouds partially cover the sun and then move on. I’m wishing I’d brought my sketchbook, but it’s too wet to sit on the ground anyway.
The old girl suddenly picks up speed and heads off towards the middle of the field, as fast as her wobbly legs will permit. In fox poo panic mode, I call her, shouting “teatime!” It’s too late, she’s down on the ground rolling. Luckily, it’s an innocent roll, the straw stubble is perfect for that itch you can’t reach. Time to head home as she heard the magic word and is staring at me.