This picture doesn’t really catch the atmosphere and moment but I was surreal as I was out for a walk along a long disused railway line with earphones in and zoned out on the walking when I became aware of strange noises not able to see anything kept on going then out of the corner of my eye I saw this.. It had descended down through the mist and glided along side me for a brief moment before heading back up in the the very low lying cloud or mist. It looked like they were coming into land and for a moment I thought they might ditch it in the river on on a nearby railway line but within a few moments of taking the picture they had disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. As I could hear no screams, in fact nothing from the basket I assumed all was well. Must have been an interesting view from above the mist banks though.
As a side note I have been rather thwarted on my morning walks along the canal around Bath as it seems to be the height of towpath repair season. This hasn’t completely stopped me merely and temporary annoyance and added some extra milage on to the daily target. Just being down on the cut makes me want to go messing about in boats.
Visiting family this weekend and having a car to take them out we went to visit a National Trust site called Lacock Abbey on Saturday Afternoon. Although the weather was not very nice i.e. Grey, cold and bitter northerly wind so no spring in the air, it was an interesting visit with much to look at including a museum and Abbey. The village is part of a wider NT estate with the Abbey that was once and Nunnery and the surrounding lands. It has been kept free of modern commerce by and large and for this reason it also has much TV and film location work carried out there for period and costume dramas as it is pretty much kept in a form that can be used without too much radical alteration for these types of productions. One of it’s claims to fame is its the home of the birth of modern film photography and Fox Talbot probably would have been amazed and some what puzzled at the volume of people using extensions of his ideas and technologies to take selfies. The chatter of shutter lenses was ever present and I can’t imagine what it would be like in the height of summer as even on that biting day there were bus loads of people wandering around taking hundreds of pictures and videos. I do sometimes wonder if they are actually looking around at the buildings and scenery or just box ticking the list off. Maybe I am the strange one.
From this picturesque scene I climbed away from the ford and the village and was lead to the out skirts of the village where at a boundary gate, this one generically called a kissing gate, I by sheer guess work and seeing distant fellow travellers navigated a circular route following a small river back to my original location. Pretty much every village in England has a meandering circular walk with ancient walk ways interlinked and cutting tangents over the landscape and as everything appears to be so close it always seems to me ones final destination is just round the corner. Well certainly in most parts of southern England anyway.
Sunday saw an early start and a journey that would end up taking way longer and not actually reaching its goal. Suffice to say I was attempting to reach Dundas Aqueduct near Limply Stoke on the Kennett and Avon Canal. However after a bit of a diversion and realising that I was really taking a lot longer than planned or expected I decided to turned for home at the 5 mile mark. Why is it that it always seems quicker when one is homeward bound.. On the outbound trek it was quiet and pretty much un-disturbed apart from the occasional runner or cyclist also out on there early morning exercises. But the return leg was a far busier one with a myriad of people walking dogs, running groups, people out for a potter, fishermen, kayakers, day cruisers and general on the cutters not to mention the people appearing bleary eyed from depths of boats and people starting to carry out needed repairs. The smell of breakfasts just urged me on and the thought of mine on my return. Canals have always held a fascination with me and the fact that the wend there way around the countryside pretty much un-noticed now where as in days gone by there were the industrial motorways of the country is just amazing to me and the fact we take for granted as something that has always been part of our landscape with its simplicity could have effected the modern world so much. I could go on for ages but I won’t but it’s something I want to explore more this years so expect more photos from the “cut”
Lying awake early this morning I have been churning around in my mind all the options I have been looking at since starting out on this journey and at times have felt overwhelmed but the sheer weight of possibilities and underwhelmed with my abilities to achieve the end goals but a couple of things that stand out and they are that owning land and building ones own home is a very lengthy processes that are not necessarily easy or successful however it is ultimately something I want to get too but in the meantime I am looking at alternative living projects. Another branch taken was looking into van living this however doesn’t feel a good fit for me and the levels of uncertainty and stress would be unacceptable, however potentially a motorhome on a static site might be an option.
Whilst visiting friends last year seeds were sown when they took me to a local canal and sparked off some thoughts of alternative living. At the time I was in the process of selling off my bricks and mortar house due to having to sell to avoid repossession and also wanting to downsizing my financial burdens at a time when I had/have no income. After an initial surge of optimism I came away full of ideas but without having any grounding or knowledge of living on a boat. I was taken with the slow pace of life and thoughts of summer cruising and on the down side pondered thrashing out winter in what I thought would be a cold damp cell. Whilst browsing around Twitter I came across this channel that has a lot of information that normally you cannot find and answering a lot of the concerns I had. One of my main concerns was being able to manage the boat single handed. However I now find that there are many resources not only online but offline too. One thing I have been considering is looking at volunteering locally well I say locally it is still a ways off, for the CRT as a volunteer lock keeper, I don’t know why but I find locks hypnotising and have been fascinating since I was a kid, as this would be a good introduction to the waterways without having to lay out hard cash where I could learn the ropes or should that be windlass.
This moves me on nicely to another filed topic that I heard on the radio earlier this month. It really got me thinking how could I start financing my future life. Hats off to the guy and an interesting story and something I have thought for a long time but never put into the practice. Although I don’t have the same conditions, there are always possibilities to create the conditions to generate income in such ways. Ok the night recedes and its time to get up and go go go.. well not maybe that much as tea is needed first.