It had been a bit of a bad-shit week, which was why, on a sunny evening straight after work, hardly passing go, last week, I felt like a stroll on May Hill.
The first thing I saw was a red fox with a wily eye streaking across a bank thick with bluebells and hazel just unfolding their lime-green leaves.
Then there were the ponies – a few of them heavily pregnant, some with the most appealing little foals – grazing amongst the trees just before the old stone walls which marks the former Gloucestershire-Herefordshire border.
One of the things I love about May Hill is that you can look over into Herefordshire where the meadows always seem a tad smaller and prettier prettier. It seems to be even greener with more field-corner copses and trees.
Beyond the bluebells was the great swathe of short grass – with more bluebells growing out in the open and largely ignored by the herd of cuddly Belted Galloways which were grazing around the landmark pines at the top of the hill.
The light was quite special. The contours of the ribbed hills before Wales, the Black Mountains, Sugar Loaf and Skirrid all spread out in graduating tonal layers.
Everything was gilded and glowing as we strolled down through the scrubby woodland – and a friendly foal was back-lit by the setting sun.