|After visting the Hoar Stone, the delightful Jane and I walked through a stubbly field deep in the heart of north-west Oxfordshire’s skylark country. It was a perfectly still evening, and I dawdled along the footpath to the top field, watching the skylarks performing. (Vaughan Williams captured this so brilliantly in The Lark Ascending; which is some achievement, considering the nature of bird song).
Jane, on the other hand, shot ahead, and had already reached the Hawk Stone by the time I saw this unique stone appear on the horizon. This is a very mysterious monument, hidden and solitary, but gazing over a fabulous vista from her hillside perch. (Excuse the pun). There really is a sense of time and eternity here, and as I was going through a particularly stressful time, I found this stone a salve for the soul.
The stone glowed all sorts of yellows and purples in the evening sun, and Jane was given to moments of delighted squealing every time a particularly bold colour was revealed: “Look! Look! That’s *pure* Naples Yellow – wow!!”
I’m not so good with understanding colour, being a B/W photographer, but when I screwed my eyes up I could see something that resembled one of the messy colour blocks in her field box. I, very stupidly, had not brought a camera with me, but instead had decided to try out my sketching skills. Would have been better off with a camera, quite frankly.
We sat for a couple of hours in the field, listening to the birds, observing a hare (Jane and I always see hares when we’re out in the landscape), and watching the sun sink. As we left, I noticed that the south face of the stone bears an uncanny resemblance to Picasso’s ‘Weeping Woman’ . . . how weird is that?“
Do you know, this is my favourite way to spend an evening,” Jane said, as we walked back down the field, trying to work out the age of the hedgerow. “You can forget all your nightclubs, boozing, et al; leave me in a field with some stones, my paints and a flask of tea anytime – it’s *brilliant*!”I agreed it was, and to make it even more brilliant, we went and had a bag of chips in nearby Woodstock . . .
Posted by treaclechops
31st August 2003ce
Edited 31st August 2003ce