Thursday, 23rd July, Pennard Hill to Butleigh Wootton, 8 miles
As we are going over Church Moor from Baltonsborough, we meet Anne on her way back from delivering our kit to our next destination. Bless her.
This is our first taste of the Levels.
When I took this photo, below, I didn’t realise the significance of the teasel in this area. It used to be grown as a commercial crop, the low-lying flood plains providing perfect growing conditions. It becomes quite a theme in the following days.
The road into Butleigh Wootton is a busy one and I’m pleased to be able to turn off into the village to find Home Farm, the base for the Somerset Levels RDA Carriage Driving Group. It is my luck we have turned up on one of the days when they are in operation. They are a friendly bunch and I gratefully accept a welcome cup of tea. Tommy makes friends with one of the members.
and we watch the proceedings
until the place is deserted, just Tommy, me and the old dog who goes to lie in the yard close to Tommy.
Tommy’s host, George, has been out making hay and when he returns, we put Tommy into a field and he drives me down to ‘auntie’ Helen’s at Marshall Elm Farm, a B&B where he has kindly fixed me up to stay for the night. I can see the tor of Glastonbury from my window and ponder on the fact that we are passing yet another holy place that has been historically surrounded by water in times of flood.
This should be a moment for celebration, but it is, in truth, a low point for me. Heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow and the B&B is right next to a busy cross roads. I can’t even bear to walk up one of the roads (even though Helen insists there is a footpath beside the road), to grab a bit of supper in the town of Street. Feeling despondent and slightly trapped in this corner of Tarmac, I find it hard to fight back the tears over breakfast the following morning, gulping back the urge to cry for fear of choking on my bacon. Suddenly feel pathetic and very alone again.