A drive back from Salisbury

With one thing and another I have missed a blog or two in the past couple of weeks.  Sorry.  Let me rectify it tonight, as I conclude what has been another quite long day.  I am thinking back to last Tuesday when I drove to Salisbury for a meeting of Training Incumbents (i.e. those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of nurturing the future leaders of the parishes of this diocese). We are a varied lot and, at the same time, a happy band of pilgrims on this particular journey with another in ministry.


On the way back the sun was low in the sky, and at one point a cloud formed like a great mountain on the broad Wiltshire horizon directly ahead of me.  The sun was just below and behind its peak, and a ribbon of brilliant light edged the cloud in glory.  Much nearer the ground small flocks of birds stood out dark against what was still a bright sky.  


The hedgerows whisked past.  Travellers’ Joy or Old Man’s Beard, as it is more appropriately named at this time of the year, is heaped up on the hedges.  In places it covers great lengths.  Most leaves have fallen now, but still the yellow hazel leaves cling to the multiple tall shoots of old coppiced trees, many more than ready for another cutting back for carbon-neutral fuel or rustic beanpoles.


From the Drax estate through Morden to the Wareham road, I followed a tractor and a just-too-wide-to-pass trailer, settling in to a gentle 35 mph and taking in the dips and heights of the road, and the warning of patching work on its surface starting now (and lasting for 8 days - how helpful).  Swanage seafront is a comforting sight as I swung into the town and ran round the one way street, up past the great mass of The Purbeck House Hotel and on to Church Hill and home.  


John Mann