looking out

My Walk this Week 238 – Urban Lakeside

My walk this week is around an urban lakeside in a brief window of it not raining.

The clouds were threatening, or perhaps I should say promising, to rain – and of course they kept their promise, but not until after my walk.

I was going to say something here about Fendrod Lake in Swansea’s Enterprise Park, but hopefully the video and soundscape above and the images below will give all the information about the value of a place like this in an urban landscape.

It has certainly been valuable to me at this time of tier 4 Covid-19 lockdown just before Christmas. This time at the end of this year is very different to the norm and I am increasingly wondering if the whole thing is a natural warning to us from the planet to wise up and stop being so selfish. An attempt to get through to all of us that we are just a small part of the entire ecosystem and universe. It will be ourselves that we destroy, not the planet, if we carry on disregarding the myriad interconnections we have with all else on Earth and the cosmos. We affect everything and everything affects us. No matter how small or large, our actions individually and collectively have consequences and we had better take note.

OK, that’s the lecture finished – see and hear the sights and sounds both here and around you and enjoy the end of this year as much as you can.

trees in sunlight

My Walk this Week 234 – The Park Through My Viewfinder

My walk this week looks through my viewfinder at our local park and its pond – Coedbach Park. Coed = wood and Bach = little, so Little Wood Park.

The video above of the pond and the images below were all taken on my DSLR, my “proper” camera, rather than my iPhone which I have used so often lately for my posts. I may have expressed some frustration with the iPhone images but I wouldn’t complain about the quality of the video it takes. The audio was recorded separately on my Zoom H5N recorder.

It was a walk taken at an opportune moment during a busy week when the sun was a rare sight. One advantage of working from home (for many more of us now) is that you can often be flexible with the hours you put in. I would argue that it is important both for yourself and your employer (if you have one) that the health benefits of taking a break for a short walk round your local park, or even just around your garden (again, if you have one), are such that it is invaluable to all – yourself, the people you work for, the people around you. everyone in fact.

I wonder if there is any chance in the future, in the “new normal” as it is being called, that a recognition of the benefits to be gained from activities such as this will become a strategic part of business models and company operations. We can always hope!

early evening sunlight

My Walk this Week 231 – Going With the Flow

My walk this week is necessarily another local one and is going with the flow in more ways than one.

The literal flow is in the Afon Camffrwd, a small local river swollen somewhat by the recent rains. A more existential flow is about me taking the walk in the first place.

Near the end of another day of regular showers the need to get out and calm my mind, exercise my body and enjoy my surroundings was obvious to me. We have to accept and deal with the current pandemic situation as best we can. While I am able to continue my work in tapestry weaving and sound as a result of a stabilisation grant from the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Good Causes fund, I am still affected, along with everyone else, by the Covid-19 lockdown and the restrictions that go with it. It is a strange and unsettling experience for us all.

Again the soundscape for this walk is in the form of a short video, but there are some more details from my walk in the images below.

 

 

Reflected weather

My Walk this Week 230 – Disregarding the Weather

My walk this week is through my local Coedbach Park and I was disregarding the weather as I set out. Autumn has typically mixed weather but regardless of this, my head as well as my body needs to get out for a walk as regularly as possible.

So when the sun came out around lunchtime I thought Aha! This is a good opportunity for a walk. Of course by the time I had changed my shoes and got a coat on, the sky was darkening again, but I didn’t let that put me off and carried on out the door.

I reached the park before the first drops fell and fortunately I had brought an umbrella but even so I felt it advisable to stand under a tree and wait.

In the short video above, which also acts as my soundscape for this week, I start out in the oak woods where the magnificent trees, undergrowth and footpaths do the best job of calming any turmoil I may be feeling inside. The stress and mental congestion that is there for any number of reasons, but not least our current Covid-19 lockdown and all that goes with that, is handled admirably by nature and the elements, even the rain.

And after the rain comes the sunlight and as I wandered on down towards the salt marshes, the River Loughor was at just the right level to provide me with a beautiful reflection of the sky as the sun pushed through aa little gap in the clouds.

Cwmdonkin Park

My Walk this Week 229 – Making Use of Cwmdonkin Park Swansea

My walk this week is in Cwmdonkin Park in Swansea and the Autumn colours were starting to show. Many people were making use of the park on this sunny Sunday afternoon, not least because of impending tightening of coronavirus lockdown measures.

Cwmdonkin Autumn

Cwmdonkin Autumn

The coronavirus lockdowns are taking their toll in many ways and most particularly on people’s mental health. It is hardly surprising that so many take the opportunity of a sunny day to get out to local urban oases such as Cwmdonkin Park. For some it is not so simple to get out and about, even without lockdowns, but maybe the short video below can help in some small way.

There is also a full StillWalks® Autumn video on the StillWalks home page if you are interested.

My Walk this Week 214 – Park Positive

My walk this week is in Singleton Park, Swansea and took advantage of the slight relaxation in the Covid-19 lockdown measures. Whether it was right or not to do this with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, it was a very positive thing to do for the sake of my mental wellbeing.

Sheltering under the trees from the rain I took advantage of the pause in our walk and snapped a shot or two, including the crushed wild garlic that was giving off a wonderfully powerful scent.

Once the sun reappeared the clover shone like jewels in the open grassland of this expansive urban park. While the botanic garden was closed due to the difficulty of distancing, the rest of the park-scape caused no problems in this respect and everyone there respected the social distancing advice.

In the smaller Brynmill Park on our return, this was a little more problematic, but people mostly did what they could to maintain a distance and the lake there is a popular attraction.

Park-scape Sound Clip

I have not called the audio above a soundscape because recording on my iPhone as I was and that not taking well to the wind, I did not capture as much sound as I would have liked.

The media player does not show on the WordPress Reader, so please visit the website to listen to the sound clip and view the images at the same time.

lakeside reeds

My Walk this Week 186 – Following a Theme

Following my theme of late, to publish a new take on an old post about walks at this time of year from three years ago, my walk this week looks back at an urban lakeside amble which I remember enjoying in between meetings on a working day.

urban lakeside

I can’t help feeling that the southern European habit of having a siesta – a reasonable break in the middle of the working day – and then extending that day by an hour or two at the end, is healthier for both mind and body than the 10 – 12 hour shifts we do with just 15 minutes break in every five hours.Continue reading

frosty grass

My Walk this Week 185 – Frost As It Was

My walk this week is again from three years ago, when it seems as though the weather was colder and there was thick frost on the ground – we haven’t really had that yet this year.

cold flowing water

The walk was in Penclawdd on the North Gower Peninsula and my selected images and soundscape below tell something of the atmosphere of the place as it looks out across the Loughor Estuary and Burry Inlet to Carmarthenshire.

The clear sky and open space is something I really appreciate at the moment, working indoors in a warehouse all the time as I am, and not seeing much daylight.Continue reading