...the Thames valley from Richmond Hill, where pleasure-craft cruise over the silver-snaking river and life feels fat and bucolic.
Let poets rave of
And painters of the winding Rhine
I will not ask a lovelier dream,
A sweeter scene, fair
Thames, than thine;
An ‘neath a summer’s sun’s decline
Thou wanderest at thine own sweet will
Reflecting from thy face divine
The flower-wreathed brow of
. Richmond Hill
...massive-trunked, ancient oaks, still green-flowering each spring long centuries after the bones of the kings and their hunting parties have crumbled to dust.
...rolling, sandy uplands open under the eye of the sun, hushed but for whisper and crunch of dead grasses under my feet.
...great banks of rhododenrons, translucent as stained glass in the light (this highly invasive species from China is currently being rooted out from the grounds).
...and a small family of six fallow deer who followed their own paths, away from the larger herd. They flipped their tails to chase off insects, grazing in the shade of the wood, keeping a watchful eye on any passing humans.
All taken at Richmond Park, former royal hunting grounds, and in the pretty village of Richmond, about 10 miles west of central London.