We had to visit my Mum today to do a couple of jobs for her and as it was such a beautiful sunny day we decided to go out for a walk around the village. Please forgive me a bit of nostalgia but I was born and grew up in this village and although I don't live in the village any longer my Mum and sister still do and I work in the village so it is still very much home to me.
Before we ventured out on our walk I couldn't resist taking a photo of the crocuses in Mum's front garden, they looked simply stunning in the sunshine.
And now for the walk, we started off walking down Love Lane - oh my goodness, I have walked this path so many times down the years.
I have always loved these old cottages at the bottom of the lane.
And into North Street, another street that has special memories as my old Primary School was just to the right of these cottages in the photo below - the school has long since been demolished and is now at the other end of Love Lane but I have many happy memories of passing these cottages on the way down to the river or up the lane across Strokins Meadow (in the days before it was built on) with Miss Ramsay, my old Infant teacher, who used to frequently take us on nature walks.
We then walked across the river and along the footpath to the main road where this house has always fascinated me, you wonder why it hasn't collapsed over the years.
Then a sharp right through the Churchyard and past the Church where I was christened, went to Sunday School and was married.
As you can see the Church is having some work carried out on it at the moment to try and protect it for future generations.
The next part of the walk is at its best at this time of the year, down by the stream and over the bridge across the lake and as you look to the left you suddenly see a mass of snowdrops growing across the other side of the river. We have enjoyed the sight of these flowers so many times over the years and they never fail to lift my heart.
We then made our way onwards to another favourite spot, Gailey Mill. This was one of the village's four working mills back in the day. It is so beautiful here at any time of the year and my boys used to enjoy paddling in the stream when they were small - special memories. The water here is always so clear, a truly magical spot and so cool and shady in the height of summer.
The mill has seen better days but it is good that it is still standing, it is all part of the village's history.
Across the road and you can see the lovely downs, my Dad used to love walking on the downs and I accompanied him from the time I could barely walk and he used to end up giving me a piggy back home because I was too tired to walk! He passed on his great love and vast knowledge of the countryside to me - how I wish I could have just one of those days back. I used to work just underneath the TV mast you can see on the top of the downs at the Home Office Wireless Depot many years ago when I first left college. I worked there for five years, it was a joy to go to work with that view every day - happy times.
We then made our way back along the village street to the lane where I used to live.
This was the part of the walk that I had been waiting for, my Mum moved from the 16th century cottage where I was born two years ago and I hadn't been up the lane since she moved. The cottage is being renovated inside but because it is listed not too much can be done on the outside and I couldn't wait to see what work had been done and what it was looking like now.
The answer was not a lot. The roof has been retiled and some of the brickwork redone, a replacement window and a burglar alarm installed but it looks as if it is no where near finished, the lawn was full of builders rubble and my Dad must be turning in his grave at the sight of his vegetable garden that he cared for so passionately over so many years.
Our walk was almost over, just up the lane, over the playground and back down Half Path and then we were back at my Mum's house.
I hope you can stand one more photo - my Mum's amaryllis that we gave her for Christmas is looking stunning on her kitchen window sill and I couldn't resist taking one last photo.