I went for a walk!
My beloved lives (has basically always lived) on the edge of a city – I am village-grown. We both get tired of city living when we do it, and autumn just cries out for fields and trees and churchyards and almost-rain and plant-spotting, so – we went.
We saw a bunch of stuff. I shall show you, now.
First of all we just walked, along a path on the side of a road. There were a lot of crisp packets and beer cans and some hair nets from the factory nearby, because a lot of people in England are pretty gross apparently. Don’t do that, seriously, it’s nasty. There wasn’t too much to see apart from everything that made up the hedgerow but that was fine! Because starting to be A Grown-Up has enabled me to see the joy in being able to recall the names of hedgerow plants that my parents were so keen on identifying during walks when I was a kidling. It’s just neat to know what things are, and which ones you can eat, and how!
We were talking about not wanting to go near people when we saw this sign that seemed to question our reasons and insult us -
But my humour was soothed by eventual arrival at churchyard no.1, containing an abundance of yew trees: my favourite!
Is there any fruit radder than a yew berry? NO. No way.
So we walked on. We didn’t have a route or anything, but there was a vaguely-pointing sign saying “[village name]” and we’d been to said village before so we figured it was an alright bet. Walking is easy when you don’t know how!
Animal count: Horses, cows, sheep, one duck, a coot, two squirrels, two lady pheasants (!!! so nice!); one push-me-pull-you.
This lake/island/garden chair set up is kind of fantastic. How nice must it be, to have a chair set up at the back of your farm where you can just sit and watch your bird-island like it’s TV? See the chair on the far left, it’s green. I have to say though, it would be haaard for me to resist paddling out to the island myself. Which reminds me, if any of you have a copy of Enid Blyton’s The Secret Island that you don’t need.. please can I have it? I cannot find the darn book ANYWHERE, and it is so good. I only had it on story tape.. and I have neither original tape nor any tape player.
This bench, it says, commemorates the village of a tudor monarch to the village. I guess it doesn’t say “this bench was put here at that time, but I still thought it was funny to say “Well gosh, it’s kept well”. Does the Queen still visit villages? I sure hope so. We did sit on the commemoration at the same time! But who takes a tripod on a walk? Not me, so I frankenstein’d us. “Frankenstein”, by the way, is a name that the Monster is TOTALLY ENTITLED TO, in my opinion. The Baron created him, right? He’s his direct offspring. Frankenstein’s son is called Frankenstein, why not his Monster? Pfah.
This picture is just because I was interested to learn how much God was into jaunty wordplay. It’s nice when religion is goofy. Government should try it, too.
Speaking of religion, I’d speculate that you’ll have heard or read a homily like this one more than once in your life; So often, we spend out lives looking at the ground, studying the dirt, checking out the broken remnants of life that lie at our feet. We can miss the glory that is just above us. I know that I certainly have. And I have never been into them, at all, because frankly? That whole “people kill their souls staring at the ground” line is bullshit. In my opinion.
One of my favourite books, Bloomability, has a version: a story about two prisoners in for life who have a tiny window in their cell. Someone asks them what they spend their time looking at and one says “whole lotta dirt” and the other says “whole lotta sky” and the main character is compared to the wholelottasky guy – she’s an optimist and that’s why the comparison maker likes her. And I can get on board with the message, there, for sure, but I still think that’s a bum metaphor (one that suits the character saying it, though – I have no beef with your choices, Sharon Creech!). There is SO much to look at on the ground, and nothing to make the wonders found there necessarily weaker than the wonders on offer in the sky. The sky has some amazing stuff, of course! And sometimes the obvious endlessness of the sky is just what you need.
But it is no use implying that looking at the ground is depression-baiting, or marginalising those who do go about looking at it. Quite often the ground is covered in things that are brilliant.
Shirt: Laura Ashley via charity shop a few years ago, trousers: hand-me-sideways, boots: Dr Martens five years ago, hat: Anthony Peto