Millie is throwing me a dirty look from under lowered, speckled-white eyebrows: “Can we Please go out? It’s a lovely day.”
“Oh, very well then.” She’s right, it’s chilly but the sun is out and I really shouldn’t waste the morning. I’m still very much up and down, given to mood swings, feelings of depression one minute, hopeful the next. A brisk walk in bright sunshine would surely do me good.
It is indeed a cheery morning. We go up the old track leading out of Valley’s End towards Bishop’s Castle until we get to the crossroads, where we turn right, with our backs to Bicton Hill.
That hasn’t stopped many clinging to a more romantic notion: that the first person to pass through would have to close the gate to the next person, providing an opportune moment to demand a kiss in return for entry. I know which answer I prefer.
Kissing gates are often found at the entrance to church graveyards but there is no evidence that this has any symbolic significance.
Once we are through the gate - I have to hold it open for Millie and she snakes through without demanding a kiss - the field track to 'The Green’ lies ahead. (in spite of its name, ‘The Green’ is our tiny industrial estate consisting of three low and rather attractively built structures - one even has arched windows, like church windows. The industry pursued here is entirely rural, causing neither pollution nor noise.) The lower slope of Radnor Wood is getting closer.
Millie was right to get me out. I am feeling much better. Tired, of course, after little in the way of exercise for several weeks, but I might take heart and go off again tomorrow.