Monday 13 May 2024

Free games for May

Sorry, sorry, sorry!  I've been terribly bad at keeping up with things but I am still here. Just spending fewer prolonged periods in front of a screen these days - and still don't seem to have enough time to do everything I want to do!  I've been on a bit of a creative trip to destinations unknown lately which has only served to confirm my suspicions that I am and always have been very much an analog girl.  In spite of that, blogging remains the source of such interest, pleasure and especially lovely connections that I really don't want to lose it, so I must put some effort in!

While I was out yesterday, my mind joined my feet in an aimless meander and I was reminded of how sometimes in my more prolific blogging moments I enjoyed taking you for a walk with me and I thought, perhaps I can actually get writing about that again? 

Come on, come with me!

We can go down beyond the main thoroughfare of the village and then turn off from the hub-bub of traffic to find ourselves in a quiet lane.  I adore this route, especially at this time of year.  We'll wander past the low roofed chapel now converted into a house, the backs of gardens of a red bricked Victorian terrace and then the human formalities start to give way to wild verges.  I always was a little drawn to the wilder verges of life.  This one would appear to be very attractive to cats too.

Then, well, it's blissful. There are meadows either side and you can smell and hear an English May without even looking; the heady scent of new blossom and cow parsley, an orchestra of insects, a symphony of lusty birdsong.  Wren, blackbird, robin, chiffchaff.  I get a funny (in a good way) feeling when I'm out like this - it must be connected to childhood memories, I'm sure.  I find the timelessness of it incredibly evocative, deep-rooted and uplifting - does it do something to the brain perhaps and induce a dopamine high?  For me it's as intoxicating as any physical substance, and I can still walk in a straight line.

The lane runs alongside a tributary and down to a weir but we won't go that far today, instead just take in the view of the lane and bridge curving around, the shadows of trees striating the road. 

If we were to carry on we could cross a couple of fields of cowpats (probably some cows too) and find one of those WWII pill boxes - this area of East Anglian countryside was one of the most heavily fortified in the country.  Defence lines of pillboxes, anti-tank blocks, deep ditches and barbed wire were drawn across the landscape to obstruct armoured columns which were expected to move inland should they manage to breach the ports and beaches.  I try to imagine how it must have felt living in such a rural and sparsely populated environment then, far removed from the cities, yet with these constant reminders of the possibility of invasion. But being here today it's so peaceful, whatever else is still sadly going on in the world in a similar vein, and I just can't.  Instead I'm lucky - lost in the sensory escapism of nature and my cherry-picked memories of perfect dappled riverbanks and bike rides and buttercups.  

For the return journey we can take a little detour past the allotments.  Say hello to the chickens and some ruddy-cheeked men in checked shirts discussing their cucumbers and on to the Village Hall.  There's a Book Fair here today - £1 to get in - how could you resist?   Mmm, the smell of old books, comics, postcards, maps....the smell of the hall itself, all coffee and floor polish and sunshine on curtains.  The low murmur of people enthusing about their stamp collections and Rupert annuals.  It's all rather lovely, a safe space for us nerdier members of the species.  And I'm drawn to so many items!  I come away with just this one, utterly enticed by its kitschness.

Heading home now we can pass this noble doorstep guardian

this old street grit bin which I really like for some weird reason

and take a couple of photos which I won't show here because instead I'll be sending them to John for his monthly photo challenge post!

Then dive back into the shade of trees and across the wooden footbridge over another part of the tributary which is looking particularly photogenic today.  An older man stops for a chat and talks about how he used to swim in there as a young lad, having lived here all his life. The resident swans will swim down here soon too, with cygnets to follow, hopefully.

At the bottom of the hill there's the young lad I often see with his skateboard. He's never with anyone else but is so obviously into his board and honing his skills on the tarmac path outside the big house.  I've often thought perhaps he's a bit of a loner, a little geeky, a little outside of the mainstream as he's always alone, practising, practising, not looking up.  But this time - oh, he has a girl with him!  A sweet-looking girl with an angelic face and a coy demeanour; he's holding her hand as she tries to keep her balance on the skateboard, gently encouraging her.  He looks over and for the first time he smiles.  I don't even know this lad but, well, I'm feeling all chuffed for him!

Onward up the hill and there's something alien hiding behind this hedge which makes me smile (turns out it's a small digger)

And just in case you need a further boost there are resources at hand a few doors up...

But sometimes I reckon a good walk can give you just the high you need.

"'ll lose your mind and play

 free games for May..."

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