Travels in Sussex – the windmill at West Blatchington

the windmill at West Blatchington

It’s a 19th century windmill now finding itself on a small traffic island on a residential Hove street.

Behind is St Peter’s Church, complete with tea room, although I left my wallet behind so I’ll have to give the tea a miss.

Actually it’s not quite true I forgot my wallet, but after leaving the house and returning to my car twice to retrieve things I’d forgotten I decided, well, hang it.

It’s a lovely early autumn day, the sun is shining in that coolish autumnal way, am I even deserving that such grace be bestowed upon me? It is glorious.

the curling leaves, the long shadows – and look! someone’s left something behind

Ten minutes meditation if I can find the time, everywhere I visit. It’s amazing what one starts to notice when one puts away the iPhone and all the other distractions and just stops. I see the curled brown leaves that symbolise the beautiful English autumn, I see one of those white dandelions I loved to blow on in my youth, I hear the leaves rustling in the trees, which are always big enough to let them rustle in this sort of place.

I’m sure the Victorians had a word like “Zen” they’d use to describe this, this human need for space, for escape.

a little village green

The Victorians had sewage issues, class discrimination and colonialism, but whatever time life puts us here on planet Earth there are pluses for every minus and minuses for every plus. We shouldn’t think our miraculous science and technology make us anything special.

Special maybe, but no more so than our Victorian forebears.

It’s not peaceful in the sense of being traffic-free, I’m still in Hove after all, and the lawn mower across the street reminds me that even places we consider to be quiet can reach a certain level of decibels.

the graveyard at St. Peter’s

But it’s peaceful in the sense that old windmills are, flint-rendered churches with old graveyards are and little squares put there solely so one such as myself may sit on a park bench and dream are peaceful.

Holmes Avenue, Hove BN3 7LH

Peace rating: 6/10

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