8 Jun 2012

The Patterns of the Fields

As you may be aware by now I am very fond of good writing about nature and the countryside, and sometimes I find a good piece that I think you would enjoy as much as I do - this is one I have found that I would like to share with you.



The home of my childhood, eternal and green, appears before my inward eye, and I live again in the brightly-coloured circle of hills where I was born.  No matter where I am, I seek unconsciously for resemblances to that beloved spot.  A draught of spring water, an uncut hedgerow, a broken wall, these bring back visions so real that I cannot tell in which life I am living, the present, or the crystal-clear past, when as a child I ran with arms outstretched to catch the wind down the well-known grassy hillsides.

There are curling hedges which hold protecting arms round odd little fields, and dark lichened stone walls cutting and dividing the green, and everywhere there are woods, beech woods, a flaming fire in the back end of the year, soft as clouds in Spring, oak woods, rough and sturdy, plantations of dark fir and tender larch, and mixed woods of many colours and sounds, sheltering fox and badger, woods full of enchantment.

A portion of that land I know so well that I can see the contours of the hills, the patterns of the fields, the irregularities of the diverse landscape as plainly as if they were painted before me.  I know every flower-filled ditch, leafy hedge-bottom, and daisied bank, better than I know the lines of my own hand, for during all my earliest years my senses had no distractions from the daily scenes of wood and field and hillside.  They became part of me, like the cold air I breathed, and I had no conception of other lands beyond our own farm and its neighbourhood, the country side which filled the crumpled circle of England displayed before my infant eyes.

written by Alison Uttley from 'Ambush of Young Days'

18 comments:

  1. Oh that is beautiful Elaine. You do find some lovely pieces of written work and it goes so well with the photo.
    Patricia x

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    1. Thanks Patricia - I only wish I could write as well myself.

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  2. That was beautiful and enchanting. Thank you for sharing that with us, Elaine. 'Ambush of Young Days' just went on my list to read.

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  3. Published in 1951 and on Ebay for £27 sounds like a collectors item Elaine will hunt further I looked at her other childrens titles too some good reading all round, can`t understand why I hadn`t heard of her before

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    1. I found her in a book that is full of different authors who write about the countryside. I have earmarked quite a few pieces from it that I will eventually share on my blog.

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  4. A lovely piece of writing - I have many of Alison Uttley's books including this one and of course I live quite near to the area where she lived as a child, Cromford is maybe 45 minutes drive and I'm planning a visit sometime this summer, it's on my list of 'places to go' during 2012. Castle Top farm isn't in Cromford but is in the local area.

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    1. I envy you your vast library Rowan - where on earth do you keep all your books - the spare room in our house is pretty full already - I have got to the point now where I have to get rid of some to make room for more. I certainly have a long way to go to catch up with you and the knowledge you have of so many authors.

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  5. Wonderful writing! I know of Alison Uttley and her chidren's books especially Little Grey Rabbit but hadn't read any of her autobiographical books. I now want to read more:)

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    1. So many wonderful books to read and so little time to do it in.

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  6. Oh to be able to write like that!

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    1. My thoughts exactly Jennyta - you've either got it or you aint.

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  7. Thanks for sharing that lovely bit of Alison Uttley's writing. I'm going to see if I can track down the book.. I vaguely remember that she wrote 'A Traveller in Time' - which I adored when I was a teenager. Am I right? Jx

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    1. Yes Jan you are right although I haven't read it myself. She does have a special way with words.

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  8. Lovely post and a glorious picture! Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty - I enjoy finding good bits of writing about the countryside - I only wish I could write as well myself.

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  9. I love Alison Uttley too.I have read all the Little Grey Rabbit stories to Jowan who loved Fuzzy Peg!.I have read some auto biographical stuff too.Thanks for that reminder!

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    1. Some books bring back such memories don't they.

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