Nestling into the Cotswold hillside, as if sheltering from the bleak winter winds that blow in from the east across the exposed fields, is the little village of Elkstone with its cluster of typical Cotswold stone buildings. At almost 1000 feet above sea level the parish is the highest in Gloucestershire and was mentioned in the Doomsday records. The ancient Norman Parish Church dates from 1160 and is renowned for its unusual dovecote above the chancel and its exquisite Norman arches in the chancel and sanctuary. Continue reading “Nature’s Classroom”→
‘What freezings I have felt, what dark days seen, What old December’s bareness everywhere!’
Sonnet 97 by William Shakespeare
What good is there to write about in winter? Yes, it’s most people’s least favourite season yet it has its quiet charms too – if we try to search them out and seek to appreciate their rugged beauty. There really are so many fine things to enjoy at this time of year, if we have the eyes to see them.
I love Keats’ delicate descriptions of the natural world. We wish that he had lived longer than his so very short life of a mere 25 years—what a great loss that he died so young, yet what fruitful 25 years. As he suggests, there is great joy and delight to be discovered in escaping the restless world of city life through time spent in solitude amidst ‘Nature’s Observatory’: