Angels and Strangers

Sometimes it’s the small acts of kindness that keep you going. This was true for us recently on one of England’s hot days (rare so far this year), when a young couple at the sign of the Hoodener’s Horse in Great Chart – a small village deep in Kent – shared their hospitality with us.

Angels & Strangers

Knotted, footsore, eyes gritty with greensand,
Mouths parched as shattered pot-shards,
We tread the weary pilgrim track, eyes reaching
For the bastion of the box-towered church:
For sanctuary stalwart on the horizon.

And then along that ancient path we come
To a welcome watering hole.

No beasts are here, but a young pair
With quiet, clear eyes and kind hands:
Cake freely brought, coffee bought: both served
With smiles & stories at a wooden table top
Under the swinging sign of The Hoodener’s Horse:

Rare resting place for thirsty souls
Past the bend of bridge & brook & village high-road.

Written with thanks to the staff at The Hoodener’s Horse, Great Chart, Kent

© Lizzie Ballagher2015-05-04 09.54.06

Even a hill path has to start near a beach!

Walking the South Downs Way (and we’re half way along it) has been at once demanding and full of surprises. The start of the walk, at the foot of Beachy Head’s great white chalk cliffs, is no exception.

Please have a look at the Christmas post from the South Downs Way trail manager’s blog, including the poem “Beach Book, Bird Book”: