Peaceful 

There’s only one thing I like more than walking with my little mate Stella, and that’s fishing. But thats another story and for now I’ll content myself with walking. 

It’s 7am on Sunday morning and I’m turning, into the woods, from where I’ll soon be away from the noises of the main Berechurch Hall Rd. 

A crow or Rook craws above me somewhere, I’m suddenly aware that I’m vulnerable to being bombed, not sure whether accidental or targeted, as it’s happened before. 

The noise of car engines is quieter now, the soundscape is dominated by birdsong, a stoat runs across our path, unnoticed by stella. 

A pigeon coos nearby, and the latter part of the dawn chorus is a choir of many birds who’s identity I’ve no clue of. 

The sky is white, so white that if it were winter is expect snow, I recognise the oak trees and the odd evergreen pine but again my knowledge of the arborial diversity is equally weak. 

Warnings that we’re in military training grounds and not to touch any discarded ordnance punches it’s mechanical firm into an otherwise perfectly natural view. 

To my right, tall pine trees with very little foliage, except the last couple of metres of the top making a canopy. 

A cyclist speeds passed, uttering a “good morning” as I seek to stop stella wandering into his path. 

I cannot help but wonder at what some of these mighty oaks have seen in what is almost certainly a long lifetime. 

Even this, that fell during the storm in February clings to life.

A lone call in the sky that I still have no clue as to it’s identity, my footfall and stellas trip trap as she trots ahead of me, snorting like a young pig. 

The white of cowslip and blue or violet of the bluebells punches it’s way into the green scape. I turn, and ahead I see a locked gate which us designed to stop motorbikes getting into the woods unless they have the key, but unfortunately it fails on many occasions. 

I take a new path  Now, which runs parallel to the normal track, I’m in a field to my left trees and bushes, to my right the nearest tree at least 100M. 

Stella changed her approach, still ahead but not so far, and turns every 10 or 20M to check I’m still close by. 

The odd ssssww×www×@÷×wwe÷×@@aaapit of rain now awakens my senses but there’s little cover. A rabbit runs for cover, I’m uncertain if from the rain or more likely the approach of the descendent of the wolf, stella. 

A cow pat, reminds me that there are or soon wìll be cows nearby. 

The rain amounts to nothing really, light enough to not really soak but heavy enough to let you know of its presence. 

I’m back on my normal track now, stella has the scent of something but still stops to nite I’m nearby and following. 

A couple of dog owners make me pause my writing to get Stella back on her lead as she loves people but has a staffs defensive aggression towards other dogs except her beloved Rocky a golden retriever of a similar age.  

The end of my 2.5 mile walk draws close as a magpie takes to the sky, obviously aware of Stellas rep. Now a rabbit shepherds it’s young into cover for similar reason. 

Another beautiful morning 

It’s  7am on the Sunday of Mayday weekend and I’m up and out with my ever faithful hound Stella. The sun is shining, shadows are long because the sun is still low in the eastern sky

 Various birdsong fills the air with only the crunch of my footfall disturbing an otherwise peaceful scene. 

A pigeons call breaks through the birdsong and apart from the odd fallen or dead tree everything is green, multiple shades of green offset by a virtually cloudless blue sky. 

My eyes pick out the oaks and the odd pinetree but I’ve little knowledge if the identities of most and my knowledge of the birdsong is equally vague. 

A conker  (horse chestnut) tree laden with flowers pricks memories of me with my grandad lobbing a stick at the freshest conkers taking them home and stringing them to play conkers the following day. But then health and safety has outlawed that or made it so bogged down in safety that kids can’t play the game unsupervised. 

A distant inquisitive fox checks Stella and I out and obviously considers us a threat as it turns and runs, either we’re nowhere near it’s set or it’s leading us off, 

A new border of blue flowerheads this time not blue bell but apparently a flowering nettle. 

Electricity pylons now break my perfect view, a mechanized reminder that these Roman woods are living a modern existence and that I am only minutes away from the civilization of Colchester or as the Romans knew it Camolodunum. 

The pylons are past us, and we veer right along a naturally made tunnel of trees interwoven. 

Looking up a few passenger liners vapour trails reminder further of the modern times, now two magpie scatter as stella hurdles toward them and she gives me that look as if to say that’s not fair or is this a hunt or just a pointless ramble. 

Now a rabbit scarpers for equal reason into the hedgerow, the tunnel breaks, stella has the scent of something, looking at me as if to say come on let’s go after it. 

A new birdsong, sounding like a kids laser gun, must be close as it dominates the landscape. 

If my mother in law or my partner Louise were with me now I’m sire they’d identify all or most of the flora and fauna but sadly neither are, as Lou has ailments that limit her walking and my mother in law is 20 miles away and would have equal problems with the distance. 

Suddenly I notice my mind has disengaged and is wondering emotionally I ‘re engage my mind picking up this post, continuing to write, I’ve been actively engaging my mind a lot lately from the guidance if Emma Triplets book Stepping out of the clouds instead of being depressed by the news on the radio I’m listening to more and more audio books. 

My walk draws near to a close as we pass Rockys home. Rocky is a golden retriever and stella one true friend who stella will always look out for. 

Within range 

Stella and I are walking around the back of the ranges in Colchester Essex. It’s a beautiful sunny evening and we’ve walked around 2 miles so far.

I really am lucky where I live as within minutes I can be in the middle of nowhere, if you didn’t no better you d think you were miles from anywhere. 

Walking off my pasta dinner is motivation enough and the looming weigh in tomorrow morning. 

I’ve just over a mile to go, and stella 


Still has plenty of energy. 

My glutes are starting to complain but then this is the second distance walk of the day. 

For a nearly 9 year old stella is doing great for her chicken and rice with weetabix dinners as she has an irritable stomach and I can rarely out walk her as she always has plenty left when I’m ready to give up.

Colchester is (as far as I’m aware) the largest garrison town in the uk and I love seeing the ah64 apaches doing their drills in the woods  

Nothing quite like it 

For those of you who haven’t the pleasure, this Stella,  Staffordshire Bull Terrier, friend and confident. 

But there’s nothing quite coming home to her excitable tail going so fast it’s a blur. 

I’ve grown up with dogs all my life,  although she’s only my second dog she’s my eighth in my household.my family have always, with one exception buster, had cross breeds. strangely enough buster was a  Cocker spaniel, he was also schizophrenic which as an 6yr old you’ve no understanding of, he was also so interbred his father was his grandfather, and his mother his elder sister. 

I digress, but if I have to be either a dog or cat person, I’m very definitely a dog person (how many times have you seen a cat on a lead) The therapeutic side of dog walking is great, disappearing into the woods, the field or whatever route you have available,  especially now with mobile phones (who’s signals die when not too far from civilisation) taking over the world. 

the times between having a dog are weird, it’s like somethings missing, the ever loyal companion is no longer there. Yes you replace the dog, but you have to learn it’s quirks, character and teach it your rules all over again

Out of the blocks

It’s been a while, but a new phone has renewed my vigour. I’m annoyed in realising that my block was down to my old phone. 

However a 13minute mile is a good restart. Didn’t want to over do it, just see where I am,  which is not too far off my pace. 

Another run tomorrow,  work allowing,  will see what I can really do over my usual 3 miles. 

I’m still vexed by the fact that I allowed tech to get under my skin and effect my performance. 

But then I’ll learn by it,  because I CAN I CAN I CAN you just watch me!!!!!!!!!!

A wash of Blues

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It Tuesday,  evening and I’m walking Stella

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In the glorious sunny evening, and Friday woods are a wash with colour!bluebells light up the shades of green, which have overthrown the browns of winter. 

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Above me I can hear multiple birdsong, I’m no ornithologist, so I couldn’t tell you what all the calls are,  but I do know the chiff chaff, amongst them.
Rifle cracks break the song, from the nearby ranges, sounds like a heavy sniper rifle from the cracks. 

I salute a lone magpie, there are several different  legends as what this superstition is about, but the most logical one is that, magpies always come in twos so it’s likely that this one’s mate is hassling livestock somewhere.

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Summer is slowly taking hold

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Banishing the winter until October or November.
More bluebells puncture the green, new birdsong fills the air, still dominated by the muzzle cracks of the rifles on the range.

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A discarded motorbike an unfortunate reminder of the local troublemakers who steel them. Scramble them trough the woods, which is illegal, then destroyed so the police cannot trace any prints

I can’t stand the raaaiiiin

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In the words of Tina Turner,  I can’t stand the raaaiiiin,  I got home from work,  this afternoon after a 4am start.
So I grabbed Stella and her lead,  set Runtastic to workout for 45 minutes and away I ran,  halfway around the skies opened, 

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and Stella and I got drenched yo the skin, however I did complete 3.5 miles in 45 minutes, a steady run with occasional  short walks.
After getting home, drying Stella with a towel I showered finishing with a couple of minutes of cold water.
Stella the vain little monkey, laid on her back and let me dry her with my partner Louise’ hair drier.
Oh well I may not be able to stand the rain, but I will run in the rain again, because I CAN I CAN I CAN you just watch me! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !