A day doodling in the Downs.
I went out for a bike ride on 'Rocky' on Monday. He's like his owner-a bit old and cranky and prone to unexpected breakdowns these days. He needs a lot of tlc and some new parts (again like his owner!). Being from Cumbria and now living in the South East one is continually struck by how, well...flat it all is. But the rolling hills of the Downs are just a 10 minute ride from the front door and thus I ventured out to do a bit of exploring. It was beautiful and empty. I saw two people the whole day and hit the main path to Ditchling Beacon which is just beautiful gently rising singletrack. On the way I came across the Chattri War Memorial to the fallen in the first world war from India and Pakistan. Quite an amazing thing to see in the middle of nowhere. These were wounded soldiers hospitalised in Brighton who died of their wounds. The dome is the actual site where the bodies of the dead were burnt in accordance with their custom. It was a beautiful silent and meditative space where I enjoyed a cup of steaming minestrone. Heading off towards Ditchling I came across a rather splendidly handsome sheep with an impressive set of horns. She was not entirely happy about being photographed and, I think, suspicious of my motives. The sense of space was amazing and much needed. I don't do well in cities! Swinging back through Lower Standean I came upon a little piggery. These little beauties are where our bacon butties come from! It's enough to turn you vegetarian. So there we go. You get out and ride and never know what you might come across.