I was in Paradise not that long ago and today was a good day to revisit it in what seemed to me to be a perfect summer day. By way of a change I took the bus from Cheltenham which stops at Paradise and from there I started my walk and my plan was to follow the path I know to end up at Painswick stream and then follow that to the village where I knew I could get the bus back.
Here was one of my first views of Paradise, it’s gate but no sign of a pearly finish. From here strolling easily down hill I came eventually to the stream having had some lovely views of the valley with the sheep in the distance sheltering from the sun on a hot day for here.
On the way some bird’s foot trefoil, or at least that’s what I think it is. The last time I saw this was on Orkney where people who know identified it. Lovely little flower. Then onwards passing through a field where two horses resided. I’m fearful of horses but managed to keep my calm as they seemed harmless. My fear of them comes from having worked as a student at Haydock Park Racecourse where I was charged with sweeping out the horses yards ( not in their stables, I did not get that close to them thank goodness ) they tried to have a chew at me then when I did get close to them, leaning out of their doors clacking away. I was close enough to feel the breath of them on my face and for them to smell my fear. These two in the field were not quite in that highly strung pedigree mode as those whose necks I brushed under all those years ago, but I was glad to reach the next gate.
Then along Painswick stream with the sun dappling ( is there such a word? ) against the leaves, and no noise of anything apart form the gentle breeze and the wafting of the leaves, the stream emitting just the faintest bubbling behind me. I stopped and took a short film on my phone. Nothing much happens in my movie, I think I’ll call it ‘Paradise Revisited’, starring Verdant Growth and Bubbly Stream supported by Sunny Day. I think it could do well at the box office.
Try playing this video with the sound turned right up, all you’ll be able to hear is the waving grasses and the stream behind.
I like to think of it as a moving ‘still life’ where there’s still life.
No problem finding my way to the village and a sit down opposite the Church where there are reputed to be 99 yew trees. “99 Yew Trees” sounds like a one hit wonder from the 1980’s. Not quite so silent here, the bells were ringing for what seemed likely to be a big dressy wedding where they wear those meaningless fancy hats with pom poms and feathery bits. Evidence of the event was close by, a car dropped off a couple of large cotswold gels, well fed specimens still in their dressing gowns who rushed to a smart house no doubt to don their strapless wotsits and fancy hats for the big event. Not something that I would witness as the bus came around the corner for the trip back home.
I jumped off before the terminal in Cheltenham so that I could take a look at the latest exhibition in the Garden’s Gallery but did not linger long there, lingering longer outside by the bandstand where, joy of joys, there was a band playing: The Forest of Dean Brass Band no less. Brilliant they were too, here they are playing “Something Stupid”. It wasn’t stupid, just the perfect way to end a day in Paradise.