Friday, 18 April 2014

A dad and a dog on the Downs

We have some lovely scenery near us. Of course, that could be said of almost anywhere, including the middle of cities (Hyde Park, London; Central Park, New York). For us, though, it's a little special, as we have Britain's very latest National Park on our doorstep; The South Downs National Park.

Last weekend, following a lazy start with Roxy on the bed (see Wednesday's Gem), we decided to go to one part of the South Downs, known as Butts Brow.

Butts Bow, a painting by Lis Lawrence.
NB - all rights to this piece belong to Lis Lawrence.
It was a short, but steep drive up to the car park, where we found that a lot of other people had already had the same idea. There were even a number of cyclists making their way at varying speeds up the hill. Even the car park was not at the top. Once you had parked up, you had a choice of various routes to progress along, although all had the same basic theme of  'uphill'.

Let me tell you, though; It's bloody worth it. When you reach the summit, there is a 360-degree view for miles around. Off to one side, you can see Beachy Head and the sea beyond there. Turning clockwise, you can see the South Downs stretching off into the distance. Further around, there are some hills and valleys a lot closer, but you can still see patches of land between them. For my money, these gaps looked like doorways into different worlds. A final quarter-turn gets you a view of the town of Eastbourne.

Again, this image is not ours. All rights belong to Will Gudgeon.
It doesn't normally look like a view of Orthanc from the film version of Lord of the Rings, but it is an impressive photo, yes?

The three of us spent a good ten minutes admiring the scenery, until the mood was broken by Roxy, who was suddenly rolling around in the grass, in paroxysms of joy. Fortunately, there was nothing that warranted the dreaded B-word.*
Rolling over, Roxy stood and shook herself, grinning hugely. I smiled myself, and, referring to the view once more, remarked how wonderful it was.

Here's to my father, who introduced me to walking in the countryside, and to offbeat humour, and to Toby the Jack Russell terrier who often accompanied him on many a jaunt. Rest in peace.