Friday, 3 April 2009

An update

Well maybe I could get the hang of this not going to work lark. On Wednesday I went for another of my training walks for the long distance path. Again I walked alone and today I offer you pictures rather than so many words.


In the higher fields most of the ewes have now lambed. Only those sheep who live on the very highest hills still lumber up and away when you approach, heavy with the unborn.






Elsewhere tiny lambs stagger about. You can tell when you are looking at a very new lamb because, along with its wobble and uncertainty, it has yet to be numbered or marked in some way by the farmer. The red on the back of the ewe is of longstanding, left on her by the ram when she was covered. Good job we don't have such a system for people.

I walked out along the Clwydian way, along the side of the hills looking out over the vale. It was sunny and warm but hazy looking out across to Snowdonia. Looking south the hills were invisible and looking north the vale disappears into grey haze, no glimpse of the sea.




The oak trees are in bud, swelling by the day. I meet two riders and for a moment wonder how it would be to be riding not walking, a different sort of lovely perhaps, but walking by yourself is so silent as to be addictive. I stop so that even the sound of my trouser legs rubbing together ceases. Clearly I hear the drumming of a woodpecker deeper into the oak wood.


I grow warm, the path is taking me gently downwards and I have lost the wind. A broken rowan shows what the wind can do up here although today it is hard to imagine such force.




I come to a conifer plantation and the path takes me into the forest and up towards the hilltops again. Here it is a different kind of quiet, cut through from time to time by birdsong, invisibly high in the trees.

When I reach the top I turn back towards home, on the Offa's Dyke path now, climbing the ridge steadily to the peak of Penycloddiau. Walking up here you walk on springy, cropped grass, perfect underfoot. A skylark pours its liquid song out above my head, a speck against the blue sky.

Three hours out and, steadily descending to my own piece of hillside, I am home again at just about the time I would normally be getting in a taxi to Euston station. No contest.

33 comments:

  1. Beautiful.
    I'm glad to read that you're putting your time to really good use - can't think of a better way to spend a few spring hours than on a good tramp.

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  2. I have only just found your blog on Blotanical, and left you a message there. This latest post is pure visual poetry, enhanced by your lovely text. Thanks so much, Alice

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  3. There is absolutely no contest between your walk today and work followed by a taxi ride. I love the flowers in the header.

    What a beautiful, peaceful post.

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  4. Another great walk for us to enjoy. (And I loved the vision of colour marking humans after being 'covered'. Imagine walking into work the next day!)

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  5. It sounds like my idea of the perfect day. I'm hoping that the weather will be good enough to take some walks next weekend.

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  6. Thank you for that lovely walk. I enjoy my walking each day but it was refreshing to imagine a different landscape.
    Your day wins hands down to the 'other' one! Plus, I imagine you are spending so much more time with your husband which can't be a bad thing!

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  7. I can feel you warming to this retirement now.
    What lovely photos.I loved them all but the tree ones are very interesting with all the gnarled bark and branches.
    Baby lambs and new life are always exciting and I am learning something all the time. Didn't know about the red rears! Like you said, glad we don't have to be covered in red dye around our rear ends!

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  8. Lovely photos - I do hope you enjoy your retirement. I was forced to retire due to wonky knees and was really worried, but I need not have been - I love it!

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  9. Beautiful, I feel like I've been for a lovely long walk too. Such peace.

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  10. So glad you have fallen into retirement with such ease. Can just see you having that lovely walk, I enjoyed it too.

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  11. I suppose that one of the things that makes me a bit wobbly about this is that I do not feel I have retired (not old enough, not enough money!), more that I have stopped doing my old job with very little idea of what I want to do next. I have given myself six months before I will really take stock and see what comes.

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  12. Beautiful photos - what lovely places to walk! Enjoy your retirement, 6 months of summer seems sensible to think about the future, and see how you feel, and what comes up. Sometimes life can surprise you!

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  13. Where you live is so lovely. I'm green with envy.

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  14. WOW!! What a wonderful experience, and story.

    I was puzzled a bit by your "not enough money." My wife and I live just a bit above the "poverty line," financially. But our lives are truly rich, as yours seems to be.

    Dostoyevsky had an excellent question: "How much land does a man need?" A thought worth considering.

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  15. Good Morning Elizabeth,

    I so enjoyed "walking" with you. The primroses on your header are beautiful and the photos refreshing. How nourishing it must have been for you to quietly make your way through a countryside waking up to Spring.

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  16. No, and that feelings just going to get better and better. Thanks for your kind thoughts on my last post.

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  17. How delightful to lose all the noises of 'civilisation' (except those stridulating trouser legs...) and have only birdsong for company. Sky Larks singing their hearts out are one of my most favourite sounds.

    I've heard my first Curlew of the year here - that's pretty good too.

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  18. Something always turns up, doesn't it - just like it always does on a walk.
    The problem is when too many things turn up at once. Lovely writing, lovely pictures.

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  19. Your blog contains such lovely, quiet joy. I'll be back!

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  20. How lovely Elizabeth -
    (it has been fabulous walking weather).
    K

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  21. THis was a lovely REVIVING RELAXING ( yet, funnily enough, also INVIGORATING!) post, both words/pictures.
    Thankyou for a good start to the day!

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  22. All the best with your new life - just go with the flow and you will find the rhythm.

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  23. Elizabeth, thanks so much for taking us on your walk. These are such lovely words and images and particularly poignant as there in such contrast to your previous routine. I think larks and woodpeckers beat slightly manky pigeons and tube trains any day x

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  24. Contentment that's what I would call it...
    One day I'll get there ;)
    Lovely post, I feel as though I was walking beside you !

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  25. Glad you're enjoying the new life.
    Now I'm feeling all nostalgic for Wales and the borders - especially as it's pouring here in Orkney. Still don't miss the old job, though.

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  26. Isn't the light beautiful at the moment - just perfect enjoying walking weather. I was surprised how much the countryside had changed in just the two days I'd been away.
    When do you begin the Offa's Dyke walk?

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  27. The Offa's Dyke walk begins on the 28th May, scarily close.

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  28. Good luck with Offa's Dyke - we are in Churchstoke if you fancy a break on your way through!!

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  29. People always tell me that they soon find themselves busier when they've retired than they ever were before!

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  30. I love your phrase 'a different kind of lovely'.

    I feel lovely too after coming on your walk. I'm so glad you're appreciating the contrast between your walk and taxi rides. No contest that's for sure.

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  31. Brilliant - I knew it would all fall into place.

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. everything is just nice visit bali through my blog

    tks

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