My walk this week is one I am currently taking on a daily basis and striking a balance for my health and wellbeing is an essential part of it. You will understand what I am saying and why if you read this post.
Balance in everything is a motto I fully agree with, but when it comes to my personal health and well-being, I cannot say I always follow that philosophy.I have been described (accused?) as being a workaholic and while not admitting to that, it may be that I am somewhat over-ambitious when it comes to what I can achieve.There is so much I want to do, but it seems that balance will insist itself upon me regardless of my strategies and time management.
So now I must admit to suffering from physical and mental exhaustion. While I hope that the past weekend laid up in bed, not attending to anything other than friendly blog conversations, I have realised that I must let something drop from my life, at least temporarily.
Yes, you’ve guessed it – no more blogging for a couple of months. It’s frustrating because I really enjoy doing the StillWalks® posts and reading/viewing/commenting on others’ blogs.
The video and images in this post are from an important element of my current working days. I am back working in a warehouse for the time being. It is not work that I enjoy (though the people there are good), but needs must as they say. One good aspect of the location of the work is that it is in walking distance of my home and the last part of the walk in and the first part of the walk after work is this woodland environment next to the small Camffrwd river.
Through StillWalks® I have always promoted the value of the environment (particularly the natural) as the best resource for mental health and well-being. However, I did not realise just how valuable it is in this sense until benefitting from it when I come out of the warehouse at the end of the day.
The sights and sounds of the trees, the water, the fields with horses, the birdsong, and a convenient bench to sit on to soak it all in – it is invaluable to me.And yet I find that while it can calm my mind and lift my spirits, it does not give me actual physical energy.So having used both my physical and mental resources, I need to lighten the load, take a break and only do what is essential for a month or two.
My walk this week is in Cally Gardens in Scotland where it is all about the plants. We have been visiting this nursery garden for many years and used to enjoy hearing and learning about Michael Wickendon’s plant expeditions and explorations around the world. Sadly Michael died on one of those expeditions a few years ago but the garden has been take over since then by Kevin Hughes and he is clearly developing and maintaining the plants and garden in a similar vein to its past.
My walk this week is a celebration of the different weather conditions we enjoyed under Scottish skies recently. I won’t say much more than that. As you will be able to see below, we relaxed to beautiful sunsets, cold winds, and water not just ebbing and flowing with the tide but also falling from the sky. On one occasion this produced a thunderous roar as the drops hit the tin roof above us in the middle of the night.
My walk this week is from Scotland where I was flabbergasted by the carpets of late bluebells and moss. Flabbergasted is not a word I use often but on this occasion it is well suited to the dismay I felt when walking in a local forest while on holiday. Being 300+ miles further north of home would account for the some of the delay in the timing of bluebells blooming, but the word was that they have been late everywhere because of the unseasonably cool weather this Spring.
The moss was less unexpected in a woodland like this but it delighted me none-the-less, especially the happy moss monster sitting at the side of the track I was ambling along. The images below take you along the route I followed but only give a glimpse of the carpets of flowers.
I find photographing bluebells difficult – trying to represent the awesome effect their multitude have on the human soul is a challenge I am happy enough not to meet as there can be no substitute for the real thing.
Witness to my enjoyment (and need!) of this walk were two of many local bulls and I stopped to have a wee chat with them as I headed back down the tree lined lane.
I am away at the moment and wasn’t going to post this week. However, I wanted to share a little taster of where I am and a hint towards future posts over the next few weeks. So check out the short video below.
My walk this week gave me a much needed break down on the salt marsh and old church yard. Even though it was first thing in the morning, I needed to start the day with the calming influence of solitude in a space I find calming (in spite of the nearby motorway).
I was sitting behind the churchyard wall in an effective audio shelter from the traffic sounds and enjoying the peace of the slow moving river and the sunshine on the marsh grass. As I sat there, gradually I became more aware of some of the details of my surroundings, some of which was evidence of the tidal influence on the marshland – a crab! Some seaweed!
The video* (see note below) demonstrates quite well the different levels of background traffic and wind sounds that I tend not to listen to, instead focusing on the bird sounds – in this case some distant geese flying overhead.
I am sure I must have posted images similar to those below in the past but with each visit to the marshes and old churchyard, it feels like I am experiencing the place afresh. I have looked at the various headstones many times, but somehow those half buried (or almost completely buried) children’s headstones seem to have sunk a little further down, staying close to the long decayed body beneath.
Time passes and everything gradually changes. Whether it be weathered iron growing rust and deepening its pitted surface or the slump of what was once the footpath as it subsides into the river with slow erosion.
The video in this post can also be viewed in 4K resolution on Vimeo. If you have a large screen and a good internet connection you might feel like you could almost crawl in amongst those marsh grasses. Make sure the quality is set to 4K and expand the video to full screen.
My walk this week takes me from valley floor to forest interior and looking through the trees. The forest is a lot smaller now than it used to be, but it is still a place I love and no matter how often I visit, I always find something new about.
On this occasion I ventured into the interior and realised that others had been before me when I discovered a narrow warn path through the trees as a parallel alternative to negotiating the muddy, flooded track that until now had been my usual route.
Check out the image sequence as well as my view through the trees in the video below.