The fog surrounds the village like pea soup. Pea soup? That would make it green. And the fog’s not green, it’s grey. Turnip soup with turnips overcooked. That’s more like it.
Crushed Bramley apples underfoot smell like cider vinegar. And the strong scent of Himalayan Balsam weaves its way along the lane, riding on an undercurrent of mud.
Down in the field, I can’t see the dog. She’s not far away but she could be anywhere in this mist.
The Wishing Tree in the middle of the field emerges from nowhere, as if it’s walking towards me. I give it a quick salutation, to let it know I’m here, and then push on towards the church.
The ground is squishy and the grass is wet. We head down through the hamlet and peel off across another field. I search, in vain for a while, for the gate I know to be there but which is hiding in the fog.
And then I find it, and startle a passing walker out on her early morning constitutional while I’m pointing my phone at the gossamer web suspended from the gate’s metal bars.
The spiders have been busy.
We’re in the lane now, and I can see the Brexit tree from the wrong angle. At first sight, it looks like a confident dinosaur waiting to pounce.
On closer inspection, this inverted England flees from the hedgerow like a frightened rabbit.
Back to civilisation and the spiders here have been even busier. Urbanisation in the arachnid world. There are white parachutes on every available surface of the privet hedge. Some webs are so intricate, they defy the laws of gravity.
There is a replica of the Butlins pavilion on one hedge.
And then there’s another web with a gable end like something from Grand Designs.
It’s as if the spiders took part in a pyramid weaving contest late last night, only to do it all again this evening.