I dropped Nathan off at a party in Walthamstow this afternoon and realised, as I drove away, that I was less than half an hour away from my parents'. So I drove up to Thaxted for a lovely lunch of soup, bread and pickles, and the most wonderful walk across the fields.
The light was absolutely magical. It was almost as though we were walking about in a Constable painting. The sun was shining, but the sky was pretty much every colour from white through cornflower blue into brown. The trees looked spectacular. Reds, oranges, silver green and, in one instance, pure gold.
The freshly ploughed fields were entirely covered in a gossamer layer of delicate spiders' webs which caught the sunlight and glowed like little threads of silver. I have seldom seen something more beautiful.
It's not rained in Thaxted for months. We're often reminded of some crazy statistic about East Anglia being randomly drier than the Sahara Dessert. In the same breath we're often also told that if you stood on a hill in Thaxted and face East, the next highest point your eyes would theoretically rest upon (if they could see that far) would be the Ural Mountains. Or something like that. Anyway, the lack of rain means the little river that we always follow around the edge of the fields has entirely dried up. I can't imagine what must have happened to the fish. Do they have a sixth sense about this sort of thing and clear off downstream when the waters start to vanish? Or do they drown on the dusty river bed? These things bother me.
Because of the lack of rain, the fallen autumn leaves were entirely brittle, and crunched and crackled under our feet as we walked. It was such a pleasure to be out and about. And I met a dog called Brangelina which has to be the strangest name I've ever heard being shouted across a field!
This evening we went to Llio's house to get the heating on and fill her house with flowers and home made cakes to welcome her and Silvia back to London after their awful, awful two weeks. I simply can't imagine how they must be feeling or even why they're still standing right now.