“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare”
With apologies for opening a post with a repeated quote, but I think it’s entirely appropriate.
The last year or so, in an attempt to escape the various lockdowns, we’ve taken to walking.
Not just walking, you understand, I mean, we’ve been walking ever since we moved on from the toddling stage, but proper boots-on, follow-a-map type walking.
My lovely wife started, with one of her friends, but changes in working hours stymied their opportunities. She didn’t want to give it up, but didn’t feel comfortable walking isolated routes alone, so I manfully stepped up. At the very least, it would allow us to spend some time together outdoors and raise the fitness levels just a little.
The most local route starts from our front door and heads out across farmland and into a pocket of the ancient Blean Wood, where spring delivers a stunning carpet of bluebells.
Further afield, routes of up to 16 miles follow coast and country pathways. From Kentish orchards and Hop-fields to clifftop views over Dover harbour and the sand and shingle along the famous Saxon Shoreway. The garden of England may be viewed by many as simply the stepping off point to continental adventures, but stop and breathe and look for a while, and you’ll find this beautiful county has much to admire. Indeed, W H Davies, who wrote the lines at the top of this post, was a Kent resident from 1907 to 1914, and his poem “Leisure” was published in 1911, so it’s entirely likely that the landscapes of rural Kent informed and inspired those famous lines.
Not wishing to burden myself with too much to carry, my Nikon P7000 is an ideal pocket-sized companion. At just 10Mp, it’s a fairly small sensor by today’s standards, but is a capable performer for both vistas and details, and is quick and intuitive as a visual notebook for those times when we stop to “stand and stare”.