Curlew River

On a clear and crisp Sunday morning in the churchyard at Teynham, muffled sounds of singing escape the thick, flint walls of the old church. In the treetops and overhead, fieldfares laugh their pagan cackle; redwings rustle deep within the heart of berry-laden holly trees; immigrant blackbirds pink pink and a local robin ticks from the ivy-covered boundaryContinue reading “Curlew River”

Winter windfalls

Adrift in the North Downs, the small village of Eastling sleeps in the early morning sun. The great yews bury much of the churchyard in deep-frozen shade. A goldcrest briefly emerges from the dense needles in its hunt for tiny prey. Goldfinches sing their light, liquid trickle from high, hidden places. A chaffinch bursts into its plain, spring song butContinue reading “Winter windfalls”

Teynham, Oare thereabouts

Teynham’s rich brown brick earth was where the first cherry orchards sprang, planted by command of Henry VIII. As I walked under another Spring blue sky accompanied as ever by a razor sharp wind from the northwest, I could find no sign of old manor or other tell-tale history apart from the church on the low hillContinue reading “Teynham, Oare thereabouts”