You wouldn't believe
there was our valley in this photograph. It's just the other side of this hedge - no wonder no-one knows it's there! It's also time to meet She-dog, our lurcher, who insisted in being included in the photograph.
Outside our cottageand just downstream, the river has formed 'our' lake (really only a little larger than a pond, but that description doesn't seem to give it enough dignity) where, today, I watched a kingfisher perched on a low bough of a willow. A flash of iridescent blue and orange and it was gone, its shrill call giving warning to all around.
Pretty as they are, the lakes were built for a purpose. In winters past, their frozen water would be carried to specially built ice houses: pits made from brick or stone, deep underground. When full they would be sealed making ice available throughout the summer months. Of course, this was only available for the wealthiest few and it was in the kitchens of the gentry that ice cream recipes were devised - a luxury unimagineable to the poor cottagers. They often struggled to feed themselves the most basic diet.