The field of wheat spread out in front of the cottage, green still, and shining like a blanket of emeralds. Tall clouds dotted the otherwise blue sky and the sun cast its rays down through the gaps between them. We walked through the farm to get to the other lane. It sat quiet. Everything was growing around it, not quite ready to be harvested. Past the farm and in the next field was barley, its wild spikey hair shooting off in all directions. It was further along than the wheat, full on golden. Every bit as shiny, though.
Across from the barley lay the sweet peas. A small sign informed us that these sweet peas were grown under contract for Bird’s Eye, and that when they were fully ripe they would be carefully picked and then speedily whisked away to be flash frozen, to preserve their freshness.
Harry and I helped ourselves to the sweet peas. They lived up to their name. Sweet as could be. Harry spoke about the plants, what with being a gardener and all. The tire tracks of the path were full chalky rocks, big enough to be a pain to walk on. I tread along the grassy bit in the middle, Looking constantly at the contrast between the blue of the sky, the green of the peas and the rich gold of the barley.
Harry noted the lack of birdsong, and indeed the lack of birds. I scanned the skies and could see none. We talked about the dales as we descended down into them from the fields, about these small valleys with no rivers at the bottom, about the chalk they carved deeply through at such precise angles as to look like they were created with intent.
The chat turned to the distance to the pub which was, by this point, obviously a great deal further than Harry had estimated. Neither of us minded. It proved worth a chuckle though, as we climbed the other side of the dale, up to a herd of cattle decidedly unimpressed by our presence. They blocked the path, and so we charged up the steep bit. I was expecting the pub to be just over the ridge. It was not. There weren't even any sweet peas to be seen.
The sun beat down, and the large clouds scattered about provided shade only to elsewhere. In the distance stood a steeple. Near that would be a pub. We caught our breath from running up the side of the dale and walked in that direction, chatting still as I wiped the sweat from my brow.