Monday, April 20

In the air

A crow

An advantage of a decent zoom on my camera!

The blue tit was a nice surprise. He just landed on the branch as I passed by.

These pylons cross the odd little path that I referred to in a recent post. I have a certain fascination with these but don't feel comfortable standing beneath the crackling current a few feet above my head!

Friday, April 10


I found this nice map of footpaths around the village. If you live somewhere else then just change the settings to find those near you.

Not all the paths are obvious! I just happened to know that one went straight across this field.

In the middle there is an interesting, if not particularly scenic, view! And you can hear the loud buzz from the cables which are not that far above you at this point.

Friday, April 3


One of the nice things about living here is how you can wander around without having to talk to people but, if you do happen to come across someone they are nearly always pleasant and have a smile and a greeting. 

On my travels today I can across some very cheerful people gathered around the small bridge where my children used to play Poohsticks, since modernised with variations on themes to prevent sheep crossing. Substantial dredging and bank clearance work in recent months has helped the stream to develop quite nicely and it flows much faster than it used to. The rains, though, swelled it for several weeks and the newly cleared banks are now just mud. Sticky mud. The sort of mud that you really can't stop young lads wanting to walk into, if only to see how far up their wellies it will go.

One lad had done just that!

Prior to this posed picture, he and the wellington boot were at some distance from each other. What made me laugh, though, was his mother attempting to extract the barely visible boot with a stick!

It was a brave effort and might have worked if she had had a couple of hours spare. She was standing on a dry part of the bank, leaning forward and jiggling the stick around and I could see her slipping and falling in the stream with her enthusiastic but sadly slightly misguided plan. I reassured her that her wellies would allow her to go into the stream, from where it would be an awful lot easier to reach the boot with her hands and rescue it.

Now, I didn't actually know whether her boot wouldn't leak and fill up while she was at it but I took a chance on that one. A few minutes later and the boot was rescued and the young lad could stop hopping around.

As I said, there are nice people around. I felt slightly useful and was surprised to learn that one of the ladies knew about this blog. So I really do have to feature them in today's rambling.

In other news we have to figure out some new etiquette for passing people on footpaths. You're approaching someone on a narrow path by the side of a road. Who moves first? So far I have had some amusing near dances as I've waited until almost the last moment and then we've both moved, moved back again and, eventually, one or other has stayed in the road! One lady went to the opposite side of the road almost as soon as she saw me and stayed there until she had passed, unable to get any further away short of clambering over a hedge and I'm not sure she hadn't even though of doing that. She looked pretty terrified and was quite grey and not one of the happy people here.

I have always thought that it was for a gentleman to move onto the road and my inclination is to do so, whether the approaching human obstacle is a group, has a dog or children or a pram or all three. I will stay put for a bike, even a lady on a bike and most certainly for anyone in lycra on a bike. For another bloke then there has to be some sort of visual assessment of their age and condition. I'll move off the path if I think they look a bit old and doddery. If they then do the same I just have to accept that I am not young any more.

Something else I have noticed that has nothing to do with wellington boots or path etiquette is the way the landscape is changing. The slopes and hills are generally much as they always have been but there are definitely new bumps and mini-valleys appearing. I also find new places where a stream is starting to run or where you tread in trainers at your peril. There is one part of my normal walk where in the last few weeks I have had to make quite a significant detour to keep my shoes dry. I usually follow the well-trod paths left by the sheep but these are not as reliable as they used to be.

I have managed to avoid shops for most of the week but will need to visit Tesco tomorrow. I expect the experience will be noteworthy. We'll see.