I leave Minstead by car with Jane & son Ben. I am due at Transition Lymington Spring Fair at 11am and it is at least a 10 mile walk. Jane and Ben are going to the fair. They drop me off half way there to walk at least some of the way, the best compromise we could come up with bearing in mind the evening storytelling booking the previous evening at Minstead and the Spring Fair storytelling at lunchtime in Lymington!
I wish I could have walked it all – it is beautiful. I get out at Brockenhurst. This is a gorgeous village. Wild New Forest horses are happily grazing on the village green, as much a part of village life as the people. The track way goes off behind St Nicholas’ church. I enjoy my walk immensely but am aware of my lunchtime appointment and am not able to dally as much as I would normally.
I see lots of wild horses as I wend my way south, past picturesque white painted Hampshire fingerposts very different from Dorset’s stone ones. The sun is warm, and the sky blue. I find it hard to believe how lucky I am , with a Spring Fair to go to in just a little while.
When I arrive it’s just wonderful. A large green Transition Lymington banner over an information stand heralds the start of the fair stalls. The fair is in the grounds of Priestlands High school in the Pennington district of Lymington. You pass by one of the feeder primary schools to get there. I think how lucky those children are to have such a short distance to go to get to their new school when they reach 11.
I think the children of Lynmington are even luckier when I have seen into their school garden! One of Transition Lymington, and a school teacher, I’m so sorry , I met so many people I have forgotten your name though we were introduced (if you are reading this please comment and supply your name!) has reclaimed the Victorian Walled Gardens in the school grounds and now they keep bees, chickens and pigs and are starting to plant veg. All the children love the garden and the atmosphere in there today is everything you could ever wish for children.
The highlight for me is seeing a large pregnant pig wallowing in the mud! At last, mud redeemed! After my epic tramp through the mud of Devon and West Dorset I had thought it was good for nothing, this pig, however, is clearly having the time of her life in the cooling mud and puddles!
Transition Lymington & New Forest group are more than welcoming. Jane insists on paying me half the proceeds of last night’s storytelling and Valerie hands me £5 of transition funds to buy a delicious paella for my lunch! We all tuck into our paella and then I go in the storytelling teepee to tell stories with Taprisha.
Taprisha tells us the apple cake tale, and I tell the mythic tale of WynnAlice’s long walk and arrival at a fair where she asks the local children about the wondrous things that are happening in the town that is not too big and not too small with a river running through it and a steep steep hill with a church at the top. They tell me about their school garden and are inspired to go and have another look at it.
I present the beautiful whorl, spindle, and skein of local dyed wool from transition Wimborne Minster to Transition New Forest and they give me a pack of their seeds and the info to start a Transition Food Challenge to take on to the next place. They want to give me fish but we decide it won’t travel very well! Later I meet Steve Read who is there promoting the traditional New Forest craft charcoal burning and again we decide against me taking a sack of charcoal coals onto the next place – the photo will have to suffice!