Monday, 23 November 2015

My Fairyland

A little bit of a different post today as the photo's were all taken on multiple occasions.  I want to share somewhere quite special with you, somewhere I happen to love.

Just around the back of my house is a deserted paradise, filled with gently waving reeds that rustle in the late afternoon breeze.  There is rarely anyone else there and it is somewhere I can escape to when I need some peace and quiet.
It is just as beautiful in deepest, darkest winter when the sound is muffled by heavy snowfall and the light is that half awake dreamscape you get when the sky and earth mirror each other in shades of twilight blue.
I discovered it one day when I was out jogging and it quickly became my favourite circuit.  I must confess that I would often just sit on one of the hillsides, the fields stretching out below me and take in my surroundings, headphones playing a soundtrack to the landscape in my ears.  I love it so much, I even had my trash the dress shoot there when I got back from my honeymoon!
I think one of the reasons I love it so much is that you access it through a tunnel more suited to inner city London than rural Canterbury.  The juxtaposition between the gnarly, graffeti covered walls and ruined fences, twisted gates of stainless steel lying abandoned on the floor, all closed in by claustrophobic concrete and the sheer scale of the fresh open space beyond is something that appeals to the romantic in me.  It's like accessing paradise after passing through an apocalypse, or a mythical gateway to Narnia.
Whenever I dog-sit Jackson it is my favourite place to take him, looping through the fields and down to the derelict, long forgotten old barns with their roofs caved in and metal skeletons showing their nakedness to the elements, each one taken back gently into natures embrace.
Jackson loves it as much as I do, both of us running down the overgrown pathways, him chasing after large sticks that I lob as far as I can for him, and we walk for miles together with the freedom of being able to be off the leash, far from any roads or even other people.  In the height of summer he looks as though he is swimming through the fields, and I frequently lose sight of him altogether, golden body blending in with the golden sheaves of wheat.

Even when I am on my own though I will visit so that I can just walk and recharge, mentally unwinding and relaxing, getting rid of the stresses of the week. I will climb to the top of the chalk pits and sit there, drawing swirling designs on the rocks around me or find one of the old trees with jutting out branches that are perfect for sitting in and watching nature go by, or go and relax in one of the groves straight out of a fairy tale.  There are the foundations of long forgotten buildings that have been taken over by twisting walls of thorns, thicker than the ones in Sleeping Beauty.  It feels as though it was designed by man and nature in unintentional symbiosis with the sole purpose of allowing a child's imagination to run wild.
If fairy tales were real, I could believe that they came alive here.