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Summer-time: Sketches

But the whole of each day, in that sweet summer-time, brings with it a sense of freedom; as after breakfast, sketch-book in hand-joyful change from our town routine!—we usually set off at once for the village, so picturesque is the place; for it lies low in the valley, and is hemmed in by hills, and surrounded by covers and copses; while orchards and hawthorns, and garden-growths, so screen it you come upon it at once, thus making it all the nicer. The way, too, drops suddenly into it, between banks that are tangled with brambles and gorse, and at foot clothed with foxgloves and ferns; where the rabbits that burrow there linger and look, and even the birds sing on, as you make your way down the hill to the old grey church, where bees busily hum in the limes—a church, that has well-worn steps down to it, and is heavily hung with ivy. There we always linger; as groups of youngsters are sure to be about the porch, the lich-gate, or mounting-block, thus giving us famous studies; whilst further on, at the village spring, we know we shall do still better; as there the tan-faced, buxom girls will pause most gladly as they poise their cans, if they see we want to sketch them. The village itself consists of a narrow street, of half-timbered houses with bulging fronts and roofs all mossed and lichened ; where are rusty stocks and a disused pound, and high signs with horse-troughs by them; a green, as you enter it, giving a home to the geese, the ducks, and donkeys. It at all times wears an old-world look, and so primitive are its ways that you think the folk there must have all stood still for at least the last hundred years.

Source: The Illustrated London News, July 1, 1882, p.19

See also:—
Summer: July
Summer: Roses
Summer: Mornings
Summer: Sounds
Summer: Walks
Summer: Models
Summer: Girls
Summer: Rest