Old memories old ground 

Stella at my side, walking boots on, fuelled by subway burnt ends, (which is amazjng) i leave Lou worth her sister and step out. 

Halstead, the town I grew up in hadn’t changed much

The Ramsey school tower block still punches it’s self into the skyline of Halstead and I’m over a mile into what maybe a 5 mile walk. 

Unlike Colchester, walking around the lanes of Halstead you nearly always see the town. 

Turning from the land onto a grass path I note virtual silence apart from a couple of songbirds chirruping from somewhere in the distance. 

The ditches are lined with yellows, whites and blues as I walk down the side of 2 corn fields. 

Memories of my childhood interupt my mind hiding in the long grass, playing cowboys and Indians. 

It’s new ground for Stella who sticks close by but sniffs and meanders and ambles along. 

The estate on which I grew up now breaks the skyline, as I descend the hill to where I’ve a Decision to make but it’s easy I’ll skirt the cricket pitch and turn across the bottom of the old estate I lived on. 

For the first time Halstead is completely out of view. 

A magpie takes to the air with stella almost upon it. The sound of the cricketers briefly fills the air, appealing for a catch or lbw, doesn’t sound successful. 

 

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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. 

Winter draws to a close 

It’s still only February, however it’s warming up, the daffodils aren’t yet flowering but they’re looking strong. Birdsong starts to full the air, and the days are definitely longer. 

I’m not a religious guy,  but I see how the seasons can bring hope,  Easter via spring  brings new life as the old died off thru autumn and winter. 

Brown’s turn to green as leaves return to the deciduous trees, and activity returns to outdoor activities. Hedges getting cut back on an industrial scale,  farmers and farm hands prepare the fields for summer crops. 


Gardeners plant, water and hope for displays such as these.. 

All part of the Circle of life

I’m a celeb 

It’s my favourite reality show, but looking at it as a (possible student of) sociology point if view, it’s fascinating watching how a group of relative strangers,  learn to work together, overcome social differences and dislikes to get objectives done. eating things you’d never eat, so that the group eat and then as an individual competing fotlr immunity. 

But then I can transfer steps into my own life, the end of week 1 at Raf Swinderby the then recruit basic training Base,  last lesson with the ptis having to conquer a fear of heights to get thru the assault course so that my whole flight git it’s weekend pass to go home. 

There are other anecdotes, I can think of where I’ve started off as the quiet one at the back to eventually be the most vocal. 

Don’t look down at your feet

I think it was Prof Steven Hawkins who said at the closing  ceremony of the Olympics 2012 in London, “dont look at your feet, look up to the stars!”

Or on a more personal basis, on the speed awareness course last week, the instructor, trying to reverse our normal approach, suggested looking to the sky, and working down, and back to the front of your car.

This approach works, because you see everything, and yes its easier from the driving seat of a 7.5 tonne lorry, than it is a car.However both quotes are a good approach to life. Looking at your feet, all you see, is the immediate future, looking to the horizon, gives you more chance to plan when you see the rain clouds approach.

Bonus Run

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Took advantage of Stella’s disgusting flatulence, this afternoon, to have a bonus run.
Set the pace at 13 minute mile, managed 11.30 average for 1.52 miles.
Don’t know if this is run of w3 or run 1 of w4. But a run it is. I’m using the rest of the walk to cool down, and hopefully get rid of Stella’s

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flatulence, which I assure you is seriously potent, and not something I wish to inhale after lunch.

The weather isn’t great but not wet, but the woods are coming to life, more greens and reds, slowly fill the horizon, day by day than browns of autumn and winter.
I am definitely enjoying, looking fir the positives, again after quite a heavy winter psychologically speaking but then you know I will, because you know I CAN I CAN I CAN you just watch me!!!!!!!!

Run before breakfast

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I wasn’t starting until 9am this morning, so I took the opportunity to a more intense interval run, 10 sets of 1 minute fast, 1 minute slow after a steady 10 minute warm up, and a 5 minutes slow down. I covered nearly three miles, I think, as my phone( with the app on it) ran out of battery.

Fridaywoods are starting to come to life, buds are opening, flowers emerging, turning bushes from their drab brown, to whites and greens, blues and the odd yellow and red, god knows the identity of what I’m looking at, but it looks amazing.

My breakfast after the run, coffee, a go ahead bar and a banana, as I’m running a little behind time.

But you know I CAN I CAN I CAN you just watch me!!!!!!!