Our weekend began early, with a Friday walk on the Malvern Hills – one of our favourite places to walk and get away from things … and Great Malvern, the town below, even has a very spiffy Oxfam shop. (Faith in Nature products were duly purchased!) The National Trust are currently letting livestock graze on the hills – not something we’ve seen before in Malvern, and quite the surpise when you just bump into some Aberdeen Angus bulls on the hillside! The fence keeping them in led us around to a dead-end, but a handy gate was there just asking to be opened. The bulls seemed surprised to see slightly lost walkers in their enclosure, though, and scarpered with disarming speed, right across our path.
Naturally, that was quite enough surreal close encounters for one weekend. But, after watching another unexpected sight on top of Kinver Edge (where livestock grazing is also in action) Sunday afternoon – in this case, two hot air balloons drifting over Staffordshire fields – and idly wondered if they were practising for this. we began to descend, only to hear the sound of firing very close behind us. Any of you who have seen alien invasion films in which the flying saucers slowly emerge from holes in the ground to loom menacingly over the protagonists will know how we felt as a huge balloon began to peek over the Edge. It sailed right above our heads, possibly piloted by an Aberdeen Angus bull.
In conclusion: we’re sorta glad to be back indoors.