The sun was out and the cold northerly wind was a little less bothersome. My walk from home across Canons Farm, along Chipstead Valley and back to Banstead via Park Downs was more about looking into the future then observing the here and now.
I stopped to check on the Fly Orchids at Fame's Rough and found a minimum of four rosettes (above). I'm assuming that they are indeed what I am claiming them to be, as my vegetative ID skills are not, I admit, brilliant.
As I always do when finding myself on Park Downs, I visited the orchid fields. Even though we are a few months away from flowering, I cannot help but go and bathe in the wonder of what these fields produced last year - it will stay with me forever. So although the scene today was as above, before long it will look like this...
And to counterbalance the title of this post, a paragraph about what has been. I'm obviously in a reflective state of mind at the moment. As is my want, yesterday afternoon I left the car at home and walked into Epsom town centre. I can do this via many routes, and chose one of the longer ones, that clips the top of the downs and descends down into the town along some rather well-to-do houses - not enormous, not ostentatious, but dwellings that are of character. Most of them were from the late Victorian/Edwardian period, red brick with ornate pitched roofs, mini-turrets, lawned gardens. The path I was walking on was slightly elevated so that I could look down and into the gardens (and windows). There I could spy fine china, framed art, fabrics, old wooden furniture. The gardens were largely of the English-cottage style, with neat lawns, flower beds, pagodas, summer houses. I was entranced, as the more I walked, the more I felt as if I was back in the inter-war years. I could see the man of the house having just returned from the railway station after a day's work at the bank - all muted suit, white shirt, bowler hat. His wife was waiting at the door, flower print dress, a casserole in the oven. The children were running around the garden with a small dog yapping behind them. From other houses came the sounds of hand-pushed lawn mowers, the smell of pipe tobacco and lots of birdsong. Lots and lots of birdsong. My reverie was broken when a van screamed past, windows open, radio blaring, welcoming me back to the 21st century. My brief period of time travel had been most enjoyable.