‘A little bit of Heaven in the Fens’ reads the sign at the roads end, leading to the site. It’s not wrong. And I’m sure by now yer probably sick of me harping on about how lovely it is. But I’m afraid it’s not going to let up anytime soon 😛
Today I woke around 5:30am to the sound of the rain, falling on a tin roof. Norah Jones would be well jel. I stayed in bed for a good couple of hours, taking my time to acclimatise to the day. No sunrise to catch this morning, wall to wall cloud and rain. And all that cloud had bumped up the temperature. Layer by layer I emerged. Feeling relieved and renewed. The worst had passed. If I can handle the van in -5 temps, the rest of the year should be a piece of piss.
I got a little work done, took receipt of my ASDA order (praise be the lord, the chocolate has arrived!), and got on with some tidying. I’d left a few pots last night, and it really starts to get claustrophobic with even the slightest of mess. My daughter also soon began to realise this. After a slight meltdown (her, not me :P) (dealing with a stroppy teen in a space this small is not fun), we arranged her room and she felt better. So did I.
The sun began to break through the cloud, and the van soon got so warm that we had to open the door! What a turnaround! I decided to leave the teen to wind down in her newly tidied bedroom and go out for a short walk. Google maps had informed me that there was a public footpath along the river in the other direction, so I decided to investigate. It was even quieter than the other walk, and a lot muddier. But the tracks in the mud told of a hive of activity, what appeared to be a herd of deer had recently passed. And as I followed it, the tracks seemed to head down another public footpath, which leads to a woodland. I decided not to follow that today, and carried along the river bank. But one day dear deer, I will find you, and I will photograph you.
The river flowed gently to my right, whilst the seemingly never-ending fields rolled out to my left. On the slightly raised bank I felt a bit like Simba in that scene from the Lion King.
This end of the river provides something the other walk doesn’t; a place to sit. I’ve definitely found my thinking spot. It also happens to face the sunset. As I sit staring in awe across the vast scape I recognise a familiar face on the distant horizon. There she was, standing at about a centimetre tall; the Cathedral. I wave and say hello. Reflecting on what I would be doing if I were there now. I feel very lucky that the universe has brought me to this spot. I miss Lincoln, and it will always have a huge piece of my heart. But this place, this place is my little bit of heaven.
Rosehip Syrup (as promised) :
Rosehips (from the common dog rose)
If you have a fine cloth with which to strain the final liquid you can go ahead and just chuck the rosehips straight in a pan of water and cook until soft, Add sugar to taste, then bring to a high temperature to thicken the liquid. Then let it cool. Use within a week in the fridge, or decanter it into sterilised jars or bottles to keep as you would keep jam.
If you don’t have a fine cloth, cut each rosehip in half, removing carefully the seeds and fine hairs (these are irritants, avoid getting on your skin). Rinse, then add to the pan. Use a sieve to drain the final liquid. Do not push the pulp through the sieve, you just want the liquid
DO NOT EAT ROSEHIPS RAW. DO NOT EAT THE SEEDS. If you’re not 100% sure that they are rosehips DO NOT PICK THEM, but if you are sure then go for it, because the flavour is bloody amazing.
Also, don’t pick from the roadside or anywhere that may have been sprayed with pesticide, and always leave some for the wildlife.