The land is glowing, suffused with golden light; an illusion helped I suppose by the amount of yellow in the fading vegetation. The grass is still heavy with dew and shimmers in the autumn sun. Was there a hint of frost this morning? Maybe.
The 16 sheep in our field have brought themselves out from the shelter of the hill into the sunshine and now lie chewing their cud. Just chillin'. A buzzard is mobbed by a trio of ravens - the foursome roll and tumble clumsily against the dark backdrop of Badnage Wood. This wood changes little with the seasons - it's mostly coniferous - but here and there Birch and Larch are dull and tinged with yellow. In fact these few acres have probably not changed significantly for centuries......
Close by my window and seen through a purply haze of Michaelmas daisy, a blue tit pecks an apple, reminding me that I should get them picked. I must gather Squash too. I must harvest and store against the coming cold.
It's so damned tranquil here that I would rather sit and stare. There is nothing wrong with that methinks.
How hard it is to imagine the world outside the small mountain kingdom of Trelystan, a world where headlines scream 'Global Down turn!', 'Bank bail-out!', 'Crisis!', 'Recession! Doom.....Despair!' It seems a world gone mad and it will touch all our lives. I think I am just a little bit afraid.
I walk on the field, calling to my small flock of poultry, with a dish of grain to scatter. The 3 old birds come running; that's The Evil Mrs Black, Mrs Scraggy-neck and the Bantie. 3 Blue Marans, one, two and three - tick - are soon pecking the ground. The little Cuckoo Maran - tick - she's at my feet too. The Cockerel and one Cream Legbar pullet - and another - that's 2. They're here. But where's the third? A bird is missing. I walk the perimeter of the field calling 'Chick, chick, chick - birdie, birdie, birdie' and shaking my dish of corn. (You might have heard me.) She does not come running.
She's inside a fox - that's where she is. A pile of feathers and a patch of gore. The bastard's seized its opportunity and snarfed her. I'll shoulder some of the blame - I should have kept them penned in - but hey! this is paradise. So even here - as in the wider world we suffer 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' and here too we can be wise after the event and feel the consequences.
Me? I've shut them all in and am off to host the inaugural meet of the Trelystan Hunt. Hunting's banned? Tough, this is my kingdom and I mean business.