One of my greatest fears is that one day some bright spark will say: 'Let's film the Archers'. It would make sound business sense and give Emmerdale a run for its money. I dread the outcome. I do not want to see the Archers, Ambridge or Borsetshire. I've been through the trauma before - in my formative years - with an 'A' Level set text - and the film of 'Wuthering Heights'. Suffice to say Lawrence Olivier did not do it for me as Heathcliff. Too mannered. Far too creepy. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Where was the wild tormented feral soul that Emily Brontë's words evoked? Merle Oberon, Vivien Leigh....no. No. NO. The pictures that radio - and the written word - conjure up in our minds are far better than anything that the cinematographer can devise.
So with this in mind - and hoping I do not disappoint one very dear friend in particular - here is a picture of the white dog, Wilson on the very edge of our dingle. This friend has a picture of a dingle in his head. I can't imagine what it is like but can say this is our reality. (For the uninitiated a 'dingle' hereabouts is a wooded valley - I suspect there's usually a stream involved too.) This dingle is to be found at the end of our field, the conifers of Badnage Wood rise darkly beyond and the little stream which rises mysteriously beneath the beech tree flows down through the larger Beach Dingle to join Marton Pool in the Rea Valley about a mile away to the east. (And Beach in this context is a topographical description - not to be confused with, as here, its planting of Beech trees. Confused? Me too.)
The dogs and I rambled round the field in the low late afternoon sunshine. I am beguiled by the light which catches the leaves of oak, ash, beech and birch and turns them to shades of burnished gold. Dogs follow noses, finding information in blades of grass and the damp worminess hidden beneath a mossy log. The brown dog, built to run, lopes around the field and Wilson, agenda unknown, wanders hock deep in wet musky grass. I do not like to think what he has found and eaten. Dogs!
Save for a wisp of cloud the sky is the clearest blue. Above us a couple of ravens roll and tumble, making their strange and 'gronking' call. A buzzard mews. Then silence. Whatever the picture in your head, take it from me, this is one fantastic afternoon