A walk from Cropredy to Varney’s Lock along the valley of the Cherwell past the 1664 battleground and between distant low hills that provide glimpses through tall hedgerows of the villages of Williamscot and Wardington, Clattercote and Claydon.

We ‘5-peas-in-a-pod’ on a rare afternoon out together.

A basket of windfall apples ‘cookers & eaters’ is on sale by Broadmoor Lock. Red hawthorn berries hang, bright as jewels. A solitary grey heron stands sentinel with poised and deadly intent. Late season blackberries still tempt a tasting – they’re wildly bitter.

The village clock’s quarter chimes roll over ploughed fields. The field-edges are ripe for ‘metal detecting’. The water margins invite a trawling for treasure with a ‘sea magnet’. It’s still, still, still, not a breath of breeze, and the temperature rises unseasonably – enough for shirt sleeves, a ‘hot pother’ and an ice cream before the long drive home.

And the boat, the boat, the spidery boat. A duck chatting. The water at the overflows singing.

What can string all this together?

These photos perhaps?





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