|Winter riders above Nettleton Grange|
Sorry if you are getting fed up of my rambles with associated pictures. One day soon I'll post about something else I swear... Yesterday, I had to drive over to Hull for an appointment at the Thai Consulate but rather than drive there and come straight back, I thought I'd set off early and factor in a country walk from a Lincolnshire town I had never visited before - Caistor.
On the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, Caistor attracted a Roman settlement almost two thousand years ago. Militarily and commercially, it was strategically placed between Lincoln and York and enjoyed a sweet water supply from the chalky hills above. Its name comes from the Anglo-Saxon ceaster ("Roman camp" or "town") and was given in the Domesday Book as Castre.
Today it's a sleepy little market town with a population of just under three thousand. The ancient grammar school was founded in 1631 and there are several other listed buildings in the town - including the marvellous honey-coloured Church of St Peter and St Paul.
But I wasn't there to hang about. I parked (for free!) in the little market square and set off for the sewage works along Navigation Lane. Then onwards across fields coated by freezing fog towards Nettleton and another lovely old church - but it was locked. From there I headed for Nettleton Grange where a shivering Shetland pony in a rainbow coloured coat was munching frozen grass and then up onto Nettleton Wold where I held a gate open for two women on horseback. I took a picture of them overlooking the valley and of the hundred photos I snapped yesterday that is the one that really stood out for me but it was an interesting day for photography anyway. "Earth stood hard as iron" and the morning's freezing fog had been slow to lift as sunshine fought to pierce the milky cloud cover.
I headed for the undulating chalky curves of Cabourne Vale where a galloping hare flashed in front of me and then up to Whitegate Hill, frightening young pheasants from their cover. Then past an old mill and down the hill to Caistor again. It was two forty five and time to head north for Hull over the graceful nineteen seventies artwork known as The Humber Bridge. I reached the Thai Consulate bang on time and sat there in the waiting room for half an hour while they checked out my documentation beyond the closed Venetian blinds..."Is he a Muslim terrorist?"..."Did he ever meet Jimmy Savile?" Well, no and yes your honour.
|South Street, Caistor|
|Frozen hawthorn berries at Nettleton Grange|
|Parish church, Nettleton|
|Gathered hay high on the wold|
|Shetland pony at Nettleton Grange - you can see this scene from afar in the top picture.|