The middle of May and still the trees are not in full leaf.
Ashridge Forest never disappoints - gently, silently, she reveals her hidden gems to those with a keen eye.
Dew-laden and greener than green, springy moss has always held a fascination for me.
As an infant, I used to collect soft-as-velvet balls of moisture laden moss and through a magnifying glass, wonder at its perfectly formed, miniature world.
I deliberately take the long, high route; to soak up the vistas, pause, breathe and feel part of mother nature... again.
Down a high-hedged, single-track lane I make a turn to pass a house that I covet, opposite which is a brick built, empty store house; exquisitely built and with perfect proportions. Clearly a labour of love.
Its master builder, now long laid to rest, left his mark - the date inscribed into the gable end - 1753. A mathematical plan using the header face of Georgian, handmade bricks.
Craftsmanship that has stood the test of time.
Purposely slowing to a snail's pace, I wind down the window to acknowledge the gently nodding heads of the bluebells basking in the soft, early light of day.
Met up with a friend I hadn't seen for a while, a fellow artist.
Suzie Jasper, a talented sculptor and jeweller who sometimes employs her cheeky-chappy dog Jasper,to assist her!
Then home again, home again jiggety jog. Past field upon field of fluorescent, shouting rape, seemingly at odds with its quieter, reserved surroundings.
Finally a trip to the builders merchants on the edge of town. Sent out into the yard to peruse the pallets of stone and slate and awkwardly jostle shoulder to shoulder with a noisy, flock of white van men in their high vis jackets.
No one noticed. Lying blood-warm and silent on a cold, hard bed of slate...