It began with the sun streaming through the bedroom windows and a snooze next to gorgeous man, who became less gorgeous when he made me get up rather than bring me coffee and toast in bed, my usual Sunday treat. But breakfast on the terrace listening to the birdsong and watching the daffodils nod in the breeze was worth the effort, then off with the dogs for my favourite walk. It’s a favourite because it has a bit of everything, good walking tracks, a stream for the dogs to play, some ancient woodland with massive oaks and beeches, inclosures of lofty pines, an impassable bog and some great vistas. There was that wonderful smell of springtime in the air and the sun beat down from a piercingly blue sky. How lovely to sit a while listening to the New Forest ponies chewing the grass with the background buzz of insects – herds of deer passed silently by and a buzzard circled overhead. The path led us through the site of a 14th Century Royal hunting lodge Church Place in Old Sloden, now only discernable by the eroded embankment that delineated the palisade.
After that, a fish and chip very late lunch at the Trusty Servant pub in Minstead, washed down by two pints of very cold Guiness, quite delicious.
Before getting back into that beautiful black Land Rover Defender we wandered up to the old church to say goodnight to Sir Arthur, who is buried there along with his wife, then back home to Bignell Wood where once he lived.