|The Cornfield, John Constable (1826)|
One of the times during my working life when I always headed out for my regular morning run just 30 minutes after rising, was when I was living just outside the small village of Chappel in the UK in the late 1980s. Chappel was in "Constable Country", near the county border between Essex and Suffolk, and at the time, my working days were divided between a huge renovated Tudor mansion my company owned nearby, and our London office, about an hour away by train.
|One of the country lanes on my morning 17km run in Chappel|
|The railway viaduct across the Colne River Valley|
at Chappel, Essex, UK
Of course in the summer months, when the sun rose early and I still had the lanes to myself, it was just magical. Agricultural smells filled the air, and I could watch the crops mature and be harvested. My route passed by many quaint old farm-houses, often with thatched rooves and surrounded by archetypal English country gardens. There was even an ancient high-arched viaduct across the valley along which a little two-carriage diesel train infrequently clattered.