Tag Archive: countryside


WP_20160606_12_23_13_ProWe had a delightful trip to the west of Norfolk a month or two back; to the splendid medieval ruins of Castle Rising with its massive mounded enclosure and monumental masonry.

Equally fascinating was the village next door, where the old ‘hospital’ (almshouses) had a fantastic garden (including a large clipped box seat) and the Norman church featured some beautiful decoration.

A cricket match was underway in the adjoining field …the epitome of English country life (of old)! The sun shone, we strolled, and then took coffee in a great little cafe, where we also found a novel use for a redundant telephone box- a local lending library!

We shall definitely be back. The castle’s website says:

‘Castle Rising Castle is one of the most famous 12th Century castles in England. The stone keep, built in around 1140 AD, is amongst the finest surviving examples of its kind anywhere in the country and, together with the massive surrounding earthworks, ensures that Rising is a castle of national importance. In its time Rising has served as a hunting lodge, royal residence, and for a brief time in the 18th century even housed a mental patient.

The most famous period in its history was when it came to the mother of Edward III, Queen Isabella, following her part in the murder of her husband Edward II. The castle passed to the Howard family in 1544 and it remains in their hands today, the current owner being a descendant of William D’Albini II, the norman baron who raised the castle.’

Further information:

Castle website

English Heritage website

 

SONY DSC‘The towering clouds recede; the storm has fled;

The dark and angry sky grows clear again.

The thunder faintly rolls, and slowly dies,

And skylarks twitter gladly as they rise.

Now many a flower hangs low a dripping head,

And here and there a patch of levelled grain

Recalls the violence of the summer storm.

The sun returns, the rain-soaked earth grows warm.

Slow and ungainly by the waterside

A solemn toad plods forth, and small snails glide,

Their shining shells enriched by golden rings.

A dragon-fly with wide and wondrous wings

glows like a jewel there among the reeds,

Above the tangle of the water-weeds.’

John (Jack) Kett

from ‘A Late Lark Singing’ (Minerva press 1997)

Honeysuckle_(Lonicera)_Flowers_In_Garden._Hampshire._UK‘Late lingers now the light, and through the night

A glow creeps eastward round the northern sky.

The sun comes early, quickly rises high,

Shines down upon a world of June delight;

On fields of hay, and lanes where grasses sway,

Their graceful panicles in fine array.

Wild roses, soft of hue, and fragrant briar,

And wayside wastes with poppies set afire.

Now family parties picnic by the stream,

Or roam in wonder under mighty trees,

And little children plough through bracken seas,

Wild fancies flying in a waking dream.

At last dusk falls, and shadowy moths appear

Where honeysuckle scents the evening air.’

John (Jack) Kett

from ‘A Late Lark Singing’ (Minerva press 1997)

Stockholm-lilac‘The bright and busy days of May are here;

The countryside’s ablaze with colours rare

In sun and shower. There’s cricket on the green,

And lilies in the wood, and now are seen

Laburnums pouring gold, tall chestnuts decked

With spires of pink and white, where bees collect

A precious harvest, then away go winging

Past lovely lilacs where a blackbird’s singing.

Old gardeners now their long experience bring

To battle with the weeds; the lawns are neat.

A worried thrush scolds by the garden seat

Her wandering, gaping brood. House-martins cling,

Pied master-builders, on the weathered walls,

And from the woods all day the cuckoo calls.’

John (Jack) Kett

from ‘A Late Lark Singing’ (Minerva press 1997)

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