lambs looking back

Looking Back Down the Hill

Looking down isn’t always the best thing to do – certainly not if you want to see where you are going – but it is also necessary if you want to be able to see the details underfoot of where you are. In the case of the lambs in today’s featured image, looking back down the hill at me is a matter of curiosity, the curiosity of the young.

dewey web detail

Their mothers had led them up the hill away from me as I approached on the descending lane, but they halted half way up to check me out. I too halted many times on my walk, first to look andContinue reading

Steel Perspective

But Is It Art?

On my walk this week I found myself in one of the upper floor rooms of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and enjoyed looking at works by well known artists of the past such as Ceri Richards, Paul Nash, Henry Moore and others. In this room I was also struck by the effect of the translucent screen hanging in front of the floor to ceiling window. It changed my perception of the building opposite and for a few moments I thought I was looking at another work of art – so I took some photos!

Looking Out

Directly below, on the ground floor, is the room used for talks, presentations, etc.,  In here I spotted a stack of seats in the corner and I was again persuaded to take some photos. The clean, bright patterns of stainless steel really appealed to me ….. but is it art?Continue reading

Walkers quietly returning

StillWalks Taster Sessions – Reviewing the Walk

In the latter part of August the West Wales Action for Mental Health organisation (WWAMH) ran a celebratory event about the benefits of gardening at Clynfyw Care Farm. I was asked to provide two StillWalks taster sessions for the day.

WWAMH at Clynfyw Care Farm

Not having been there before I set my sat nav and followed it as it led me down a complex network of tiny country lanes. I had given myself plenty of time and so was able to be relaxed about this unexpected route and enjoyed the run over there in the sunshine. Continue reading

old iron fence

Listening with Silent Walkers and Any Old Iron

“Any old iron” is not a cry you hear very often now in Britain and is certainly not one associated with silent walkers. I suspect that the people making that call for old metal in our streets would love to have been offered an abandoned iron spiral staircase or grass roller. They shout it nowadays from a van but I remember when it used to be from a horse and cart (and I’m not that old!).

Silent walkers

The silent walkers listening to the sounds around them either through a mic and headphones or with the naked ear, enjoyed what they heard on our StillWalks taster session for WWAMH at Clynfyw Care Farm. Continue reading

walking route

My Walk this Week – Silent Walking with WWAMH

My walk this week is from an event in West Wales with WWAMH (West Wales Action for Mental Health). I had been asked to run a couple of StillWalks taster sessions for their “Let’s Celebrate Gardening” event at Clynfyw Care Farm and so I focused on sound walks – or perhaps I should say silent walking.

WWAMH at Clynfyw

The benefits of walking in a group are primarily social – you get to chat with friends or meet new people in an active way and often in a pleasant natural environment. My own preferenceContinue reading

The Sea, The Sea

The sound clip I have included with the images below may be said to sound like wind in trees, but apart from the fact that it is not and the images would also suggest otherwise, I think there is a difference. I don’t deny that the sounds can be very similar but I like at least to imagine that there are subtle elements of each that would allow me to differentiate between the two. However, I’m not sure I would bet on it – every sound in any environment will always be different according to the circumstances at the time of listening or recording but attuning your ear to those individual elements can be a challenge.

Whatever, I love the sound of the sea, the sea in the clip below and feel confident that the waves breaking amidst the general water and wind ambience can be distinguished as such. See what you think!

sea fret

Clearly a Sea Fret

Continue reading

Choosing the View

They say about TV or radio, if you don’t like it, you can always switch it off or change the channel. Similarly, wherever we may be, we can choose what to take notice of, we can choose our view. That can be a challenge sometimes, especially if what is in front of you is a blank wall, but when out and about we tend to miss so much of what is around us and I am as guilty of this as the next person.

That’s OK! It means that when I do take notice of my surroundings, a simple walk down the street can become an adventure of discovery. I don’t mean that there are suddenly different or new things happening around me to what’s normal, I simply find I have more interest in the normal things. The shapes and patterns, the textures and colours . . . of the sounds as well as the sights.

monochrome railings

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Sensory Perception at the Lakeside

Nearing the end or turning point of my walk this week, I emerged from the riverside woodland footpath at the Enterprise Park near Llansamlet in Swansea. This zone has grown over the years and one of its main characteristics is that you are almost forced to take the car from place within the zone.

However, despite the sound of passing traffic (below), once I had crossed the road I was able to enjoy the lake that forms a central feature in the area. As in any urban area, there is always the background sound of city activity and traffic, but the lake here forms an essential and effective oasis from all that.

Lakeside

We need these oases in modern urban living, but it is not just a matter of them existing. We need to make sure we use them as they were intended and enjoy the natural benefits they can bring on a regular basis.

Walking around a lake or park, down a tree-lined street, along a river, we are offered the opportunity to not just exercise of our limbs, but also to exercise our sensory perception. Looking and/or listening is possible for almost everyone and in my experience is well worth it.

Passing Traffic

Lakeside Ambience

If viewing this in an email, please click the post title to see other photos in this post, thank you.

Exercising the Body and Mind

Which do you prefer – cycling, walking, jogging, running? Walking would be my preference  if I want to focus on my surroundings and observe the sights and sounds around me. However, for this very reason, I may not get as much exercise as I tend to start and stop a lot in order to look and listen, photograph or record. Then again, I am sure the benefit I gain from enjoying the observation makes up for it, mentally at least!

Cycle Path

Cycle Path