Wonderful Winchester …
14/05/2014 § Leave a comment
winding wisteria, secret views and rolling landscapes seen from Cheesefoot Head …
A couple of evenings ago, the light was perfect and we took a short drive out of Winchester, to see Hampshire in all its glory. We could see right down to the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth! There’s something about this time of year – we took the same trip last year – here.
I love gates – this one has a long handle so it can be opened from horseback without dismounting, at the beginning of a long bridleway. I could imagine riding up here – it quite took me back to my early teenage days with my pony, Prince. He was such a good pony – good at opening gates too! I’d be standing up in my stirrups to reach the gate handle, then encourage him through before it closed, a quick turn and up close again to shut it after us. Then turn him around to face the landscape and choose which path to follow, gather up my reins and off we’d go, stopping to pick some cow parsley to weave into his mane or browband along the way. Riding along, there’d be a cool breeze blowing his mane across my hands. Sometimes, he’d stop and breathe in some distant happening that he could smell and I couldn’t see – head up, nostrils flared. “What is it Prince? What’s over there?”
We’d ride for miles and miles in the countryside – hard hat, yes, but no high-vis vests or expensive gear for me and Prince. Jodphurs and wellies were my teenage uniform. He’d shy at startled pheasants, making my heart thump or scoot off if he thought he’d heard something behind us, just to make life a little more exciting. Often we’d see no people, but deer in the fields, a fox slinking through a wood and a plethora of birdlife. Those were the days, my friends!
For now, I’ll just enjoy the view and quietly recite “If wishes were horses …”