The changing face of the Allington Giant. Looking back over the past year is also a way of looking forward.
In the last year, at least once a month and sometimes more often, I’ve taken a photo of the Sleeping Giant of Allington Hill.
The point from where the pictures are taken shifted slightly southwards as the year went by. When I gave up writing in the doorway of the utility room I began to prefer taking photos from the kitchen window.
Looking back over the year I feel surprised that things that seem to have happened five minutes past were weeks and months ago. But looking over the photos of the year reminds me too that the changes will soon come round again.
But what differences will there be? In March 2019, the magnolia flowered very early.
I note a tendency in me to prefer showing photos taken on bright and beautiful days. Perhaps in June there were none. I remember my mid-June birthday as being blustery with plenty of showers!
July, August and September are busy in the garden when there’s watering to be done. The autumn raspberries began early and needed picking twice a day. Though I like the garden to be a little wild it still takes time and as you can’t spend it twice, those are hours not given to writing or going for a walk – though swimming in the sea is too good to miss some days! The giant’s facial hair is luxuriant in these months.
In the last quarter of the year, as things slow down and Christmas looms, there’s still plenty to do, but what a treat one morning to open the blinds one frosty morning in November and see a fox in the neighbouring garden. He stayed in view for an hour and a half, curling up as if to sleep, never shutting his eyes for long, ears twitching. He got up after half an hour and slipped through the fence into another garden, and lay down again. When he stretched you could see the mud covering his white chest and belly. He was a russet glow in the whitened grass. Very hard to photograph so an extra one with a red ring shows the spot where he lay for the second stint of rest. Why he came there on that day I don’t know. After watching him for so long, I turned to do something else and the next time I looked, he was gone. Not to be seen since. But what a gift.
As was the moon descending into the eye socket of the giant on the day of the General Election, when he seemed to wake up in alarm.
The days are lengthening again in the Northern Hemisphere. What will 2020 bring?