20 FEBRUARY 1953, Page 20


FOR some time now I have been in the habit of pausing when a scene has pleased me and examining the points that make it seem pleasant, and I have discovered that often my delight has been in a combination of sight and sound, the sight a a spruce-wood and the sound of cooing pigeons, the sight of a tall holly-bush and the twittering of a small bird, a farmstead with a smoking chimney and the barking of a dog. When I went up to the limestone cliff, I stood a long time looking down across the countryside, seeing the strips of cultivation bordering the pasture. the irregular shape of fields and the clusters of white- washed farms. • The sound that made it perfect was the far-away but clear sound of children laughing and talking as they ran along a road. I could hear the clatter of their shoes. One of them was trundling an old bicycle-wheel, that ran away from him on a gradient. They passed out of hearing behind a hill. Down below on one of the little farms a door clumped shut and someone banged the lid on to a milk- churn. I descended as the light was fading, and an owl called as it flew through the copse.