My journey to work
I descended into the Sydling valley and had to drive through a ford. The water level in the stream is still low and the water clear. Up and up the hill towards Cerne Abbas and a view of the Giant, the famous chalk figure carved in the hill above the village. It has magical powers of fertility. Believe me, I know these things!
Then down into the pretty
Then finally down, and a view north into a different world across the broad Blackmoor Vale– sunlit with blue skies.
Up onto another “top road” and further north. By now I am up far enough to be in l
skies! Which is how it went, right up until I got to my destination.
Through a village called Kings Stag, which isn’t far from an ancient
I crossed the River Stour at Sturminster Newton. The bridge is so old and narrow that it has pedestrian passing places built in. But there its only just wide enough for one vehicle, so a system of traffic lights is in place.
The further you get into
By now the sun was well up into the sky, and I was nearly at journeys end – Shaftesbury. It’s a small town, miles from any other town, and consequently has an interesting high street full of small shops, and hardly any of the usual chain stores. Greengrocers, drapers, bakers – all the old fashioned shops you thought were gone. But its on top of a hill, and you only need a touch of frost or snow and the place is cut off from civilization. You cant get out or in on the couple of roads.
I was lucky, but the place was like something out of a scary movie. It was totally hidden by low cloud, and felt dank and dark under its shroud. It should havebeen just waking up, with shopkeepers opening the shutters, and people bustling about, but it was strangely quiet. No good going to the lookout gardens and admiring the view. No good going to the top of picturesque Gold Hill, and standing by the sculpture of a large loaf of bread. Now why is that there?
Those in England may remember a famous TV advert in the eighties (much lampooned) in which a young baker’s boy from the Thirties, wearing short trousers, a Fair Isle jumper and a flat cap, rides his bicycle down an incredibly steep cobbled hill while an equally flat Northern voice drones on in narration and a brass band plays. The advert was for Hovis bread, and was filmed here. Fame! People used to come from far and wide to see it. The best view is from the tea shop at the top!
So journey’s end – and the good news is….later I had to drive back to the office, and the sun had broken through and ended Shaftesbury’s islolation.