Saturday, August 6, 2022

walking to the next village, transformation, cote baptist chapel

A week ago, I walked to the next village, Aston, and to the hamlet of Cote beyond to pick up my bike, which had been repaired.

I'd walked back home after dropping it off too.

While we've visited friends in Aston and bought things from the shop and pottery, I suddenly realised that in over twenty years of living in west Oxfordshire, I'd never walked the village before. I've been through it hundreds of times, if not thousands - by bus, car, bike. But never had I travelled it at pavement level. Suddenly the perspective and sense of scale changed. From the road, at different heights, moving forward, at various speeds, the village backdrop slips by, without real appreciation or understanding.

Not that I know Aston from two walks but my perception of it has altered completely. That sight-line of that thatched cottage, with the stone houses beyond; that closeness to the allotment field and its crops - and bare land; those panels of the modern school against the Victorian church.

At Cote it was the same thing and I stopped for a while to admire the Baptist Chapel and its simple high-browed symmetrical beauty.

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