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Winter by Darcey Palmer, Lincoln College

February 2022

I felt fresh and surprisingly cosy as I pondered through the fields that bordered my late grandfather’s cottage. It was a bizarre sensation being back in the grass that was once my childhood wonderland. I took a few deep breaths and the smell of the damp leaves and hay bales instantly made me feel as if I was home again. It was all I needed after spending so many wasted years of my life in the bustling city. It was riveting at first to be surrounded by so much freedom but you soon feel the thick fog of dirty polluted air on your skin almost as if you haven’t washed for weeks. My nose missed the icy pinch the wind gave it as I stepped out of the front door and the snug blanket of air the incandescent fire wraps you in as you lay beside the fireplace on a gloomy winter evening. All of these things dragged me mentally back to the country life I once lived, I wasn’t born to do nine to fives or stress about saving up my spare change for a run to the launderette every Monday. I was born to bake the most beautiful breads that you can smell from the next house and take my hounds on summer walks across the woodlands past eight o’clock. I pray that one day this fantasy will become a reality again.

5 years to the day he passed, I still cannot look upon the 15ft oak tree that sits pretty at the end of my grandparents' garden, it is a constant reminder of all the love we shared during those many years that I stayed with him. The rope swing he built especially for me and my three siblings to torment each other with, the fairy tale style play house halfway up that I spent so many a night hiding in hoping and praying he wouldn’t call me down for bedtime.