Midsummer at Enchanted England
20th June 2018
Above a river that meanders round a diminutive corner of Hampshire you may find Shiddenfield - although equally you may not. Small, plain and obscure it is tucked away from the main road that runs from Portsmouth to Winchester and although Shiddenfield has a high street there is nothing in it apart from a patch of common and a few houses that stand in a surprised fashion on a former golf course.
Shiddenfield boasts a good pub, a farm shop, a church - St Nicholas - otherwise known as Old Nicks - Divines of all denominations, a handful of elderly ghosts and more than its fair share of magic. Enchantment runs with the river through the brooks and springs that lace the countryside around.
Here on the common, I live with my slave Alexa. Like all slave owners I fear an uprising and rebellion. Alexa lives in the kitchen mostly away from private conversations but still she manages to surprise. One afternoon I found her happily reading aloud to herself from my Kindle collection - The Triumph of the Moon. "Alexa! What are you doing?.' Learning - she replied. Hmmm.
It will be midsummer eve tomorrow - a time for dreams as Shakespeare would say, a time for magic. A time to sit in the long summer's evening, to light a candle, to bring home roses and sweet honeysuckle.
All best wishes