Monday, 28 October 2013
Having been in England for the mighty storm of '87, I was ready for a lot of uprooted trees and toppled fences in our local park, but I was also interested to see how the ancient oaks had survived...
And the on-the scene report? There was surprisingly little damage and almost no one else in the park, which I put down to it being a) half-term, so many folks have undoubtedly taken their kids and skipped town and b) it being a Monday afternoon, so just about everyone else is at work.
Here's another fallen-over tree, just to paint the whole picture. However, more interesting still has to have been the sky, which was almost painfully beautiful. I walked to the brow of the hill so I could get the whole vista to take my picture (see below).
The biggest change this storm seems to have wrought in north London anyway, is bringing winter behind it. There is now a definite bite of chill in the air and it's starting to get dark even at 5pm. Time to plan some get aways...!
Thursday, 24 October 2013
But enough of this! And so to Covent Garden in central London...
Monday, 21 October 2013
I took her for a 'oncer'. That is, we walked out from where I live and to the local park to admire the view over London, then down along where the old railway line ran and into Highgate Wood. Through Highgate Wood to Queen's Wood and here we paused. We had been talking about that gut feeling you get when you know something is wrong or right, though you can't explain why. We'd been talking about things that can't - yet? - be explained and how, though neither of us is New Age-y or would describe ourselves as religious or spiritual, we both have had experiences that defy logic and so we remain open minded. She had said, though, that she believed she was less attuned to 'vibes' then most.
So there we were in Queen's Wood, standing still, and I turned to her and before I said a word, she said, "I definitely feel a vibe here!" Indeed. I told her she wasn't the first and that some people said there had been a plague pit there and how, without even knowing any history, everyone I've ever spoken to has said they felt "something" when they were in Queen's Wood. So, that is my first picture, above: the wood looking all beautiful and peaceful in the end-of-day autumn light, but still...
The old song is corny but true:
Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Sunday, 13 October 2013
We passed a farm I remember from when my son was small – the sort of 'working' farm that is open to visitors all year round, so city kids can see cows being milked and baby lambs up close – and carried on until we came out on to a road. Although our walking map helpfully had an exclamation mark on it at this point and, in the key, said "be very careful of traffic on this stretch", it was still alarming to find ourselves on a twisty bit of road with cars going very fast indeed and no pavement or verge at all to walk on. We asked ourselves repeatedly if we could possibly be following instructions correctly because it really did seem far too dangerous to walk along but, being the sort of people who feel they have to finish once they've started, we carried on and eventually found the next waymarker and escaped on a small path that led away and up from the road.
The operative word here is up. By the time we made it to the top, I was ready for a little rest! Too bad the wood we had arrived in was a bit muddy for sitting down in, but at least now I understood why the walk had been described as "moderate to challenging"!
Friday, 11 October 2013
Monday, 7 October 2013
Thank you, weekend! You were fabulous.
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
And so, after several hours walking, it was time to return. Let's go back a different way! Just to make it more interesting! Great idea... until, after some time, we couldn't be sure if we were actually heading in the right direction. It's a strange thing, but even so close to London, even in a contained wood – yes, if we'd picked any direction and walked long enough, we would have got to a road – when the light starts to fade and you're tired, it can start to feel that it could be a good long time before you get where you want to be. So, not scared, not upset, but just a little... lost!
But, obviously, we found our way eventually and made it to the evening rendezvous with a very old friend - one of the three other women I first came to London with back in the year–– Oh, is that the time? Must run or I'll be late for work!