By Marie-Claire Meredith
As we saw out the 5th week of lockdown, the restlessness had started to kick in and with a very busy dog (Hercule, 9 month old working cocker spaniel) I decided we all needed to blow off some steam and have a good run around.
In keeping with the COVID guidelines, we jumped in the car and set off for our hour’s walk on the outskirts of London.
Leaving behind the heaving parks and busy side streets, it was such a breath of fresh air to be alone in the countryside. I can’t remember the last time I used my long distance vision and here I was being rewarded with the rolling hills of Kent set out before me, as far as my eyes could see.
Spring is my favourite season in the UK. Finally, Nature comes to life with her colour, scents and sounds. It is no coincidence, I feel, that the air is cleaner and the birdsong more obvious during this time of lockdown. Without the background noise of airplanes above and rumbling traffic penetrating all around, peace really can be felt and found out here.
Our walk takes us through the most beautiful woods, where the bluebells have carpeted the ground and the sunlight streaming through the fresh new leaves catches their bobbing heads. Martin Taylor’s paintings always come to mind as we meander down the woodland path here, as Hercule scurries back and forth, nose to the ground.
Martin’s skill lies in conveying the textures, colours and atmosphere of these scenes with his precise brushwork. His affinity with the natural world within which he works is keenly experienced through his paintings.
This current situation is an opportunity for us all to slow down, to really see and appreciate what we have around us and be grateful for those things that perhaps we have overlooked in our great rush through Life.