After days of rain, although dry today - the air is thick with moisture.
The ground oozes and creaks as water moves through the saturated earth.
Springs and streams burble joyously regurgitating their watery loads.
We follow a damp muddy farmland track through glistening wet fields.
The hedges and copses look sparse in their winter garb while the old trees seem to reach up
and scratch the thin sky.
As we walk, we talk and relish the solitude.
Our path keeps leading us to and away from the railway - although still used, is quiet today.
Strewn along the way is evidence of things from a more industrial past.
Sitting on the edge of a dried oxbow lake,
we drink tea and eat mincepies as we watch Youngest and Moss play.
The scars on the landscape just hint at the history of the valley.
Shadows left from a Roman villa, lynchets, dried river beds, ancient hedgerows and tracks.
The canal is also quiet. A few ducks rest on the far side.
A row of geese preen before settling down for the night.
One narrow-boat moored up, gently chuffing out a strand of smoke into the cool air.
As the light fades, the temperature drops and the sky becomes fiery.
My feet are tired, as am I
but I feel elated,
I hope that this week of chrimbo-limbo
has been good to you
and good for you.