walking

I went for a wander and found… a crocodile!

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This morning’s sunshine tricked me into pulling on my shoes and coat and heading out for a walk. I was beginning to regret the hat and scarf as I walked through the quiet Sunday streets in bright, warm sunshine.

On my way to the park I came across a heron on a lamppost. In fact, it’s quite a common sight around here. I’ve also seen them on gate posts, railings and rooftops. They always look to me as though they’re guarding something…Read More »I went for a wander and found… a crocodile!

I’m still here, not drowning but waving

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A foggy day at Highfield Park

A foggy day at Highfield Park

I never wanted to be one of those bloggers who gets too busy to blog, disappears for months and then pops up again with a ‘I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while’ post. I set myself the target of doing one blog post a week and I’ve managed it so far, but this week has been particularly busy and I honestly just haven’t felt inspired to write. I worry when that happens, what if this is it and I never write another word?Read More »I’m still here, not drowning but waving

Ways of Looking at Winter: A Walk in the Snow

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We shall go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure…

— Henry David Thoreau

In the spirit of undying adventure we set off into a beautiful day.

It snowed yesterday and was overcast all day, but today the sky is brilliant blue¬† and dotted with the suggestions of clouds. The sun is out and the snow looks like it is sparkling. I didn’t think to bring sunglasses with me in December.

Snowy meadow

Read More »Ways of Looking at Winter: A Walk in the Snow

Ways of Looking at Winter: Solstice

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Sunlight through pine trees

This might be our last day on earth and it is raining as though the clouds believe it. We spend most of the morning and the afternoon sitting around reading and watching the wind and rain outside.

Then just as suddenly, it’s gone, the sky starts to clear and we decide to make the most of the remaining light. Not that there is much light to be had. Not only is it the last day of the world but it is also the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. Half way to the light. Half way through the dark.Read More »Ways of Looking at Winter: Solstice

Ways of Looking at Winter: Ice Skating Birds

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Ducks stood on the ice

Ducks stood on the ice

I’ve had a bit of a copy flow issue with the blog at the moment and I think the problem is that I haven’t been getting out enough. I’ve had two fairly inactive weekends in a row and all my week days are spent in an office.

When I first started working at the University of Nottingham’s University Park Campus I imagined myself going for nice strolls around the campus’s lake during my lunch break, but that hasn’t really happened. However, when I heard that the lake had frozen over I decided I had to go and have a look.Read More »Ways of Looking at Winter: Ice Skating Birds

Ways of Looking at Winter: Oxfordshire

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Boys lost in the mist

Inspired by Open The Curtains‘s ArboreAlbum I decided to have a look through my archives and see if I could pull together some interesting photographs of trees. I didn’t have much luck, but I did find these old photographs from 2007. They were taken in Oxfordshire, where I was staying with family for Christmas. They’ve been hidden away and I haven’t looked at them since I took them so I was surprised by how lovely they are (if I don’t say so myself).Read More »Ways of Looking at Winter: Oxfordshire

A Sense of Place: New England

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Most days we go for our daily constitutional. It’s just a short, half hour walk up the Rail Trail to Broadmeadow and back again. It is an unseasonable winter. There has been no snow and there is no promise of snow. It is the winter that never was. On the radio the other day I caught a snippet of a man talking about mild winters: A mild winter is like going to hike a mountain only to discover there is a tram to the top and a McDonalds up there.Read More »A Sense of Place: New England

Thirlmere Reservoir

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Thirlmere Reservoir

Thirlmere Reservoir

The following is an extract from my MA dissertation, read my full dissertation here: Rain, Myth and Northerness.

Starting with the maxim ‘start where you are’ and where I was being Manchester, I decided to write about rain, but as I explored my landscapes of rain – Manchester, Haworth, and Thirlmere – I realised that actually what I was exploring was the mythical aspects of these landscapes as typified by rain. By myth I mean a story that is told about a landscape that becomes a part of how that place is perceived. So, for instance, Manchester is referred to as the rainy city, which is in fact inaccurate because it’s only the 9th rainiest city in the UK.Read More »Thirlmere Reservoir

The day the clouds came to say hello…

Foggy park

Foggy park

Yesterday I was woken by my boyfriend declaiming the fact that it was foggy outside. Despite not having had a cup of tea yet I was persuaded to go for a morning walk in the fog. I was glad I did. By the time we got home again the fog had almost all been burnt up by the sun. Sometimes you just have to get outside and make the most of what the day has to offer.Read More »The day the clouds came to say hello…