For February 2013 we cross
the Forest of Dean from Lydbrook to the banks of the Severn above
Gatcombe. Gatcombe was a noted port in Tudor times; it's not
so much a case of "Queen Elizabeth Slept Here" as "Everyone
Who Was Anyone in 1590 Except Shakespeare Probably Slept Here".
And Shakespeare may have managed to slip out to this neck of
the woods at some point.
The reason for their trips
was not the February sunsets, though they are quite splendid,
but the rather nice river which is reflecting this one. The Severn
is broad and deep enough (when the tide's in) for a fairly decent
Tudor warship. Warships at the time were built of wood and Gatcombe
is a sheltered creek adjacent to a Royal Forest grown in part
to produce timber for ships.
February's short days have
their points and one major one is that the sun gets up late enough
for everyone to see it casting its light across the cloud formations.
Come the evening, our local ball of burning gases sets sufficiently
early to watch it disappear beneath the horizon (or, in this
case, behind a tree) and then get home for tea.Admittedly the
walk from Little Hagloe back to Blakeney had to be done in the
dark, but that's just one of the things that has to be endured
for the sake of a decent view of a sunset across the estuary
of Britain's longest river.
Far to the south, Bristol and
the Severn Bridges are lost in the pink-orange haze while the
river flows off into forever.