|Morning gallop Sheepcote valley|
This is another of the free pleasures of this place if you're up and out early enough. In the university holidays I need a routine and walking Roxy is my incentive to leave the house before hours at my desk. Walkers in the morning are brisk and there are fewer of us. In the afternoons people stroll, sit on benches and recently I've encountered a couple of men with the six of the biggest dogs, other than great danes, I think I've seen - most of them black, one chocolate brown, they're the size of shetland ponies. Roxy skirts around them nervously, keeping close to me until she's past them and then shoots off at speed up the path.
The earth is cracked, the puddles have dried up and this preview of summer feels too good to be true. But even when it's hot enough for bare arms, it still doesn't smell of or sound like summer.