Taddington And Its Endless Change
The countryside is a wonderful place. You go for a three mile walk, meet a few people from the village, hear and see all the news. On Main Street, a skip had been placed outside the Butchers Cottage. That means the owner is clearing it out for the recent buyer. However, who are they? New people to live in the village or another absentee, a holiday cottage? Further on, a sign stating “No eggs today”; the chicks are not laying. Further on, “no eggs” outside another cottage. We will remain eggless. We walk down a track to the derelict cottage. A sign states, “sold” but still no evidence of the new owners. Pass on beneath High Well, through the squeeze stile. Then, the farm where the farmer has his girlfriend’s sheep in his fields. On via the mossy, green lane (see photo). Taddington, a place of endless change.
The path is covered in leaves, which we kick about. It’s then steep and slippery, flocks of birds rise up beneath an oak tree. Higher, and we look out. Lots of sheep but a long way off. A few cows close by in fields with fallen walls. Down The Gates into Townend and the drystone waller is still walling. We chat to him but he keeps on working, selects a stone and never fails to place it. I tell him his work reminds me that we once had a garden on the roadside in Croydon. When we gardened, so many people stopped to chat that we did very little work. “That’s why I keep on working”, he tells us. “I should finish this next week”, were his farewell words.
Taddington and its endless change
The farmer stops his car to chat to us. He is also our landlord. It appears sheep prices are good this year. People are on his farm today to repair some dew ponds so dragonflies, frogs, toads and newts are going to be okay. The new farm grant scheme, now we have dumped the EU, is going to benefit wildflowers. That pleases us. “It’s now British taxpayers we have to please, not European bureaucrats”, are his passing words. Back home in the warm barn, well briefed, with a strong coffee and chocolate brownie, life seems very good. That said, I have visions of the poor sods in a different world. The African men, on television last night, digging a well. Down 30′ and still little water and all the crops dying in their changing world. As you can see, Taddington is a joy but elsewhere in the world, life is tough.