Tag Archives: walking

Birds in the sky ….

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Birds in the sky --- you know how I feel

Birds in the sky — you know how I feel

Sometimes ‘the road less travelled’ is the path that is the most interesting. Today I took that literally. One of my emotional survival mechanisms is to take a break from work and have a walk. I can’t do it every day but when I can I always feel better. I work in an industrial midlands town so I love finding parks and areas of green and water whenever I can. From canals to lakes the industrial landscape gives so many opportunities for beauty. This half hour walk took me past a lake created at the foot of reclaimed ‘slag heaps’, the bi-product of the mining industry now long gone. Since the 1980’s when the mines closed down much of the land has been revitalised and made into areas for play and recreation. The same is true of old railway lines, now cycle paths and walkers and wildlife paradise. Don’t get me started on the politics though.
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Today I changed my usual route which is to walk round the lake and followed the path that goes away from the water. It climbs to the top of the hill where a hidden secret football pitch lay green and empty. The views across the city are of high-rise flats and housing. The light was golden on the hill and the blue skies were a welcome change from days of rain. I felt grateful to be alive
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It made me sad that in leaving the bustle around the water’s edge there is a slight feeling of anxiety and wariness. Down below children are on scooters and bikes, teens crash around on skateboards and dog walkers and families watch the birds and throw bread for them to swirl high in the air. Away from the crowds I meet surreptitious couples with rangy lurchers, a man carrying a bottle and reeking of alcohol, broken glass and the unmistakable signs of drug use. I don’t mind walking alone and I know how to look confident when I walk but the thoughts still creep into my mind when the people I pass look shiftily at their feet and none of us make eye contact
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Coming back down the other side of the lake the sight of children watching a man fishing is comforting and looking up into the sky through the silver birch trees I breathe a little sigh of relief and head back to work.

Fish in the sea you know how I feel ...

Fish in the sea you know how I feel …

Only blue skies

Only blue skies

 

The sound of water

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Hope

Hope

It’s over. Christmas is gone for another year and there is that piece of me that heaves a guilty sigh of relief. Time to get back to ‘normal’. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends. And I love spending time with them. But I love to be alone too. I like to take a walk all by myself even on a rainy day like today. Seeing buds appearing on the brown twigs.

The sound of water

The sound of water

Not many people are out today. It is a day for getting back to work, but the schools and colleges are still on holiday so the town is quiet. A group of teens play football in the park and some lone dog walkers go by. Not many people just walk to town for the sake of it nowadays.The shops are quiet. Trying to find a birthday banner is hard, the card shops are full of half price Christmas wrapping paper and cards.
I have a coffee ( decaf and Americano as I’m trying to give up the cappuccino/latte habit!) in the cafe and hang my coat on the back of the chair opposite to dry. It is a secret pleasure to pull out my book ( The Snow Child) and read for half an hour with no-one to talk to and no need to be anywhere. As I walk back through the town I am almost tempted by the buses or the taxis in the taxi rank but I am trying to walk more so I carry on. Birthday banner and cake are in my bag for son 3 whose birthday it is today.

On the walk home the brook that runs through the Lyme Valley is high with all the rain there has been the last few days. It runs fast so you can hear the sound as you walk by. One of the joys of walking is noticing what is around you. I am not an iPod walker, not plugged in to sound. I like the sounds around me, the sensation of being present. Mindfulness in walking.
Coming back down our little street I am grateful for the sight of home. It is nice to be grateful for the sight of my own front door and the prospect of a rest and a cup of tea.

If you go down to the woods today …..

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Feeling a bit down this morning but the sun was out and the dog and I needed walking so we set off for the lake. I am doing Race for Life this year which is a 5k for Cancer Research. I am doing it in honour of friends who are in treatment right now, and friends who have lost the battle. And in memory of my dad who had prostate cancer but died in 2006 pretty much from old age thanks to treatment.

The route for the run/walk is round the lake with some extra bits added to make it up to the full amount. This is the half way point round the lake. Conveniently there is a little cafe where you can sit and watch the herons swoop across looking for a fishy snack. It also has a doggy diner ( water) and a skinny cappucino. I realise these benefits won’t be part of the 5k but I am in training.

The second half of the walk takes you through the woods. On our way we saw:

dragonflies

a frog

a teacup

and something mysterious in the treetops.

The goslings followed daddy goose into the water, one, two, three, four ….

365 steps to freedom

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The path leads up and up through woodland, spring flowers and shades of green

At the Eagles Nest with the valley below. The sense of achievement is wonderful. 6 months ago the climb would have been beyond me. There is both a sort of shame and a new pride in this.

Can we do it? Yes, we can!! 365 Steps, just one step at a time. One step for every day of the year. There was something quite profound for us in this climb, it seemed to mark a turning point of hope and a little helping of confidence and faith

There are 365 steps up to the Wye Valley pathway from the road that leads from Tintern Abbey. Can we do it?

Half way up and a pause for breath and photo opportunities.

The view starts to open out and the River Wye snakes away through the valley below