So here is spring. The houses over on Lea Bailey do look a bit like sugar cubes, and I never could figure out how to paint trees, but I loved that view, and I'm glad to see it again. Even if I could go back, it would not be the same. The elms were lost decades ago.
Here is summer. I remember the roses being a problem to paint. How to cope with the background behind them? How to deal with the foliage? I was using a child's paintbox and A4 paper torn from a pad. You can see the punch holes over the top of the hill. But lord, that was a garden. My mother had green fingers, and created beauty wherever she went (she still does) and I certainly couldn't do that garden justice.
Autumn came... with misty mornings and May Hill appearing again behind the thinning elms. My brother and I took a bicycle ride there, once, and I remember how exciting it seemed to ride by ourselves all the way to the horizon. When you're there, May Hill is full of the sounds of larks singing, and of the wind sighing like the sea through the tall, tall pine trees which grow (grew?) in a clump on the very top. A lonely, gorgeous, magical place. A place to quote Housman. But back then it would have been 'Summertime on Bredon' that would have sprung to my mind, especially the lines:
|And see the coloured counties,|
|And hear the larks so high|
|About us in the sky.|
|INTO my heart an air that kills|
|From yon far country blows:|
|What are those blue remembered hills,|
|What spires, what farms are those?|
|That is the land of lost content,|
|I see it shining plain,|
|The happy highways where I went|
|And cannot come again.|