Monday, 17 June 2013

Simply a Moment [June]: Then off, off forth ...

Hi, hi.

Things have been veeeeeerrrrry quiet around here this month, I know. If you subscribe to my occasional email catch-up / update/ chatter then you'll have heard from me last week ... but other than that ...

I've been having a little healthy I'm-keeping-away-before-I-begin-to resent-blogging-blog-break or ... if you followed my Push-Up Bra Blogging series then I've been taking what we might also refer to as: 'The Kenny Rogers Approach'.  Know when to walk away ... and all that!

However ... as I also covered in that series ... it's useful to have a few regular themes and on-going types of post in your repertoire, just to keep you pottering along during the dry spells [or the times when just looking at your blogging dashboard makes you shudder]. And so ...

...  I wanted to pop in today to share my response to the 'Simply A Moment' meme created by Simply Alexa where once a month, you can stop, pause and record something which could otherwise have disappeared into the ether. [To learn more you can read Alexa's tips on how to record your own moments and  if you do join in, there's a link box there for you to add your post.]

Then off, off forth ...*

Date: Saturday 15th June2013
Time: 10:35am > onwards
Location: a walk from home to Tesco

"So, how long do you think this'll take then?" asks James of the walk we've got planned. A man more used to being a driver than a pedestrian.

"30, 35 minutes" I reply, casting my mind back to the last time I walked a similar route.

I glance down, check the time on my watch - 10.34ish - and we head off up the drive and out into the street.

"I don't think I've ever walked this far along here in this direction before" he states once we pass the post box.

"You've never lived". I reply, smiling, shaking my head at the suburban safari we're now taking, where the main road I've trodden countless times is suddenly the road less travelled.

Not even 5 minutes from home and here's the rain. Light, sporadic, but enough to make my hair unruly. So out comes my floral print shower-proof mac. Pulling the hood up I think, mmm, yes, shower proof .... maybe. But deluge proof? No way. And I scan the sky for threateningly dark clouds and fortunately find none. Anyway ... this is an adventure after all, I don't think Dr. Livingstone here will be letting rain stop play.

We both step aside to allow an elderly man on a motorised chair to pass. Moments later, as if in an act of universal balance, a young boy on a scooter whizzes by propelling himself enthusiastically with his young legs.

"We'd get there quicker if we'd come on one of those" James says as the boy accelerates away out of sight. "The only thing is ... if you hit anything ... you got straight over the top".

Probably best not to let me near one then.

As we walk parallel to the playing fields the wind - like the hand of an older, teasing sibling - holds me back. Pushes my shoulders. Ruffles my hair.

With it's bluster in my ears I hear a line from a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem* repeating in my head: "the hurl and gliding rebuffed the big wind."

Do you hear that wind? I'm rebuffing you I think as we round the corner in front of the Fire Station where I come to a halt. James slows and turns to me, questioning.

"I need a 'fire truck' for the Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt" I explain. But we look, and there are none parked outside. And I don't think they'd take kindly to me asking to be let in with my camera.

But never mind there's always ...

"Do you think this  would pass for 'a nature preserve'?" I ask, sceptically, of the area of playing field that, after flooding several years back, never dried out and now resembles a mangrove swamp and is inhabited by various ducks and moorhens:
"I don't see why not" he replies. And so I take out my camera and seek out the birds.

And for a moment I'm Hushpuppy from Beasts of the Southern Wild and this isn't a damp corner of a suburban town but a flooded bayou. Then I take the photos and we move along.

Looking down all I see is litter. Discarded correspondence bearing the letterhead from the nearby secondary school. A Pepsi Max tin. An empty bottle of '75% stronger' windscreen wash.

But, raising my eyes higher, I spot a horse in the field. And above that, the hills. My hills. Our hills.

"If you didn't know there were so many houses in between here and there" says James gesturing to the hilltops "you'd never know from here would you?" asks James.

"No." I reply, "It's glorious." Click:
"So, how long's it taken then?" asks James as we turn our backs to the scenery and wait for a break in traffic to cross the road and head into the supermarket. Our destination.
Looking at my watch and counting up the time elapsed I say: "25 minutes ... I can't believe it ... I was sure it usually took longer than that" I'm baffled.
"And we've been dawdling" I say, thinking about all that Scavenger hunting and mangrove daydreaming.  
"Yes, there's been dawdling" he repeats.
"Maybe I've got faster?" I ponder.
"Maybe you have". 
And [because this is what I'm like] I want to think there's something pithy and profound in this moment, in this reply. But I think he literally just means I walk faster.
Maybe I dawdle more when I'm walking on my own ... or maybe it just feels longer ... and then we cross the road. Together.   
So that's my June moment - don't forget to hop over to visit Alexa where you can join in with your own too.

And, if you're a poetry lover ... and even if you're not ... you might like to read through The Windhover - the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem I referred to.

I'll see you later this week.

Julie :-)


  1. Do you know, I was about to comment then noticed that one of your tags was 'Tesco' so I had to go back and figure out what that had to do with your moment. I must have skimmed over your location on the first reading!
    I've been having an extended break while my son has been in exam mode. I'll be putting some of your excellent tips into action now that I've begun again.

    Fiona x

  2. So glad to see one of my favourite poems quoted in a blog post title (and in the text). We have hawks that hover over our fields and I always hear "I caught this morning, morning's minion..." in my head when I see them!

  3. This has been a perfect read at the end of a long day! Accompanying you and Him, eavesdropping on your thoughts, peeking at the world where you are through your eyes - it's been just lovely, Julie. I've smiled at your snippets of conversation, caught my breath on some of your descriptions, and been blown away by the wind and the completeness of your moment. Thank-you so much for joining in again this month - always an honour to have you link up :).

  4. Love the walk, the scavenger hunting, the photography - dawdling on a walk is the BEST way!

  5. What a lovely walk to Tesco ...then off!

  6. I think this tells us as much about your relationship as it does about the landscape between your house and the TESCO. Love it!

  7. I loved reading this - felt as if I were walking along with you!

  8. You write so beautifully Julie. I loved accompanying you both on your walk to Tesco. Hmm GM Hopkins/Tesco I knew it would be good.

  9. Wonderfully captured Julie - and as a poetry lover I must thank you for the reminder of Gerard - I love the way you put your words together - and very much enjoyed the walsk alongside you both. Thanks you , J x


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