Monday, 17 May 2010

Our mobile sundays

Life often imitates art, or maybe it (life) is just an abstract being.

This weekend just gone was a "do our own thing weekend". As such we (Julie and myself) spent the weekend apart and of course then spent so much time on the phone and e-mailing, we may as well have been together. At least BT are making a profit.

Yesterday was a fine example of the changing face of communications. What did we ever do before BlackBerry's, mobiles and e-mail's. A walk in the country was something of a solitary pursuit for the likes of Wordsworth, BB and Peter Scott. Silent dawns, reflecting on the passage of nature and the insignificance of the human race in the bigger scheme of the things. Yesterday was all of the above, but all the photos here in this posting were taken on mobile phones and e-mailed to each other. One of Julie's e-mails to me had the title "Our Sunday" and that just fitted the mood so well.... so well in fact, those 2 words formulated this posting in my mind overnight. Julie was in Wiltshire doing whatever happens in Wiltshire to a young maiden; meanwhile I was on a day trip to Boscastle (photo above to prove my presence in that fair County) doing what a young blade does when unleashed into the community. Walking.

Pull up a chaise lougue and I'll elucidate our weekends............. or strictly speaking Our Sunday, May 16th 2010.

East Grafton is on the outskirts of Savernake Forest. The whole area is a wonderful jigsaw of classic English pastoral farmland with the added benefit of the Marlborough Downs as it's backdrop. As part of Julie's day, she walked out on a summers morn.... (with apologies to Laurie Lee), to refresh the sinues. Striding out with a-plomb from her domicile the tracks and farmland around the village are a wildlife pleasure ground and in particular the skylarks are just omni-present. Proceeding along an aptly named Dark Lane eventually Julie came across "Julie's Tree"...... there is a long story attached to this based on the first walk we had out over the fields together in February - I love the trees in that area and so named this stately oak after her. I like standing next to this tree and communing with the landscape.

Walking up the farm track the tree (and others) stand out against the skyline. I've not been up there myself for a few weeks and the differences in the landscape with the oil seed rape in flower, and herbage luxuriant, were noticeable. So it was a joy to get a collage of images from Julie highlighting the walk to, past (below) and beyond the tree.

Elsewhere on her walk she spied this tree in a field against a dark and brooding sky......

..... and then descended to the Kennet and Avon canal which winds it's way silently through the fields.

Last night while talking on the phone, another view of trees and roosting corvids took Julie's interest into an embryonic thought of hers for a painting. I'll look forward to that and when this is completed, in a future posting will post my own pencil drawing of another tree in this area which has special significance.

At the same moment in time yesterday, although I was unaware until later, Quicksilver found himself in Boscastle. Waking feeling restless and unraveled, I decided I needed a walk and sea air to re-ravel me. Lyme Regis was my aimed for port of call, however on reaching Junction 25 of the M5 I had a flash of inspiration to head further south and visit Boscastle. This is the first time I've visited this village since my 45th Birthday on April 1st 2009.

The weather yesterday was against me when I arrived, but that added to the mood, dark and brooding. So I trudged up to the view point and looked out over the sea. Wind buffeted me as squally rain showers hurled themselves against the cliffs, and of course me. Around the turquoise sea changed black and inky as the squalls came in, foam piqued on the wavelets and seabirds began calling and effortlessly soaring past my vision of the sea....... which is the image now being used as my blog banner.

I find being in inclement weather by the sea very therapeutic, those dark cliffs adding the the sense of foreboding that Man is insignificant in the might of the elemental forces of nature. For me being by the sea calms the emotions, I think it is because of the constant movement of tide, wind, seabirds and waves which almost mesmerises me into a sense of deep calm. I sat for a good half an hour looking at the view on my banner until the cold and a car park ticket about to expire drove me back down the Valency river, and reality!

One of the astonishing things I never tire of with the Boscastle area is the dramatic and foreboding mouth of the river to the sea, cutting through the dark rocks, and then upstream beyond the village, a lush and verdant valley cuts up through the hills towards St Juliot's church. The riparian contrast in so short a space of time is quite dramatic.

And yesterday it was made all the more contrasting as it was a just the most perfect time for spring flower emergence; ferns unfurling, wild garlic, bluebells, field campion, gorse, and a whole myriad of wild flowers in full show, nothing had begun to wilt and die, everything was in it's perfect condition.
Even the birds were performing. I watched a dipper dipping in the stream for a good 10 minutes (sadly my photos on the phone were disturbingly awful, I can't publish here), but also 2 yellow wagtails, pip pipped along the stream, swifts and swallows overhead, buzzard, crows and a plethora of little brown jobs in the trees. An excellent end to a 3 hour walk - not overly strenuous, just very pleasant and contrasting.

And finally this image from the Valency Valley.... not massively sharp as photo's go, the light was failing, but I love the fact that nature has composed an artistic canvass without trying.... moss covered trees, blue bells, primroses and the stream behind.... I just love walking through countryside and looking for the unexpected and of course beautiful. We should all look closely at nature, view the unexpected with joy, not least as we may never come this way again..... make the most of being there at that point in time.

So we've reached the end to Our Sunday. Two views of southern England, taken at the same time and shared. This is really a green and pleasant land, no matter what the doom-sayers may tell us.

Julie and I walked our own footsteps over countryside 200 miles apart, but at the time of walking each were thinking the same thoughts and those were thoughts of sharing the experiences of nature for each other when we got home. I like modern technology, it allows different experiences to develop without too much effort.... and then we can share...... although my battery did almost expire I'd taken so many photographs.

And as for my walk.... well of course it recharged my batteries wonderfully..... next stop Isle of May in Scotland on Friday for work, then up to Cromarty early next week; there will be a blog posting from there I expect....... keep mobile, that's my motto.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely Sunday, Andrew! And such a lovely day for walking too, the weather, the Wild Flowers and the Birds, the trees, all performing perfectly, for you, as is Nature's way; it only takes our senses to open up.

    Looking forward to your tree drawing.