Weds 26th Nov: A misty day for the move from the Forge. A quick last photo opportunity for the village school sculptors we saw earlier in the week (getting into their rhythm nicely with the tools) and then Ranger Bob arrived with the NT trailer, soon to be followed by Phil with his tractor… and then Paul with the green Telehandler. Thanks to both of them for making the move possible with local farm machinery: they are the key to the remarkable plan of moving the stone around Slindon Estate over the year. The block now sits ready for the first session on Saturday 29th, when the first of Hannah’s 13,000 trees will start to be planted by the conservation volunteer force – the Rise of Northwood. I hope they have some energy left to think about the block too.
Still deep in Hilaire Belloc, and in the peace of the field I was thinking of him on his horse, Monster, having saddled up at Courthill Farm (on a Wednesday, as it happens), passing along the Stene under North Wood, up to the Roman Road and No Man’s Land. I also came across his epigram ‘The Statue’ last night, which seemed quite poignant.
When we are dead, some Hunting-boy will pass
And find a stone – half-hidden in tall grass
And grey with age: but having seen that stone
(Which was your image), ride more slowly on.
That stone conveyed passing. Ours will mark a rise.
The essay The Roman Road is included in Hills and the Sea; Belloc, H. (1906) [p153-157 on Google Books or here]