Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Breedon Church Linear Walk

  • Walked: 25 December 2007
  • Distance: 4m
  • Terrain: A Decent climb, some fields, some road.
  • Summary: Starting from the Severn Trent Car Park by Dimminsdale, walk along the road (uphill). Turn left at the junction and then right towards Scotland Farm. The church is in view at this point; head straight for it. The footpaths that cross the fields and the golf course are well marked with yellow wayposts.
  • Time: 2hrs hours start to finish
  • Notable views: From Breedon Hill.

Christmas day was pretty dull weatherwise, but the sun did come out in the afternoon. At least, half of the sky was bright blue and sunny, the other half was a dirty grey, as if I were right underneath a weather front.

This is the first couple of miles of my 3-viewpoints walk. With limited time, it makes a good linear walk in its own right.

It was 3pm when I decided to set off, and the sun was already very low in the sky.

The evening light was very warm in colour, turning everything orange.

These two show that mysterious weather front, which didn't move at all during my walk.

I've photographed the church lots of times before, but always from the same side. Here's a different view. It shows the power station in the background, which was the source of the large cloud noted earlier.

Click the map below, and then each image icon in turn to see more of the photos from today's walk.

The route above was generated using Meander.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Geronimo (updated)

The title of this piece is 'Geronimo', after the native American who was driven out of his own environment, dressed up, paraded around and exhibited for the pleasure of 'civilised' people, which is pretty much what we do with fir trees every year.

Yes, I've just been out in the (quite literally) freezing cold, with a rucksack full of Christmas decs, into The National Forest and chosen a tree at random to decorate in situ. I didn't have a fairy for the top, but I am very proud of the fact that there's a fully-working string of fairy lights on there (but unfortunately nowhere to plug them in).

It was too dark and my camera too feeble to take a picture of the tree in context, amongst all its friends, so I'll try and get out there in the daylight before the baubles blow away or someone takes them. I've tried to pick one which I can see from my house, but I won't know until the morning!

Anyhow. "Why the bloody hell has someone done that" is what I want the dog-walkers and other visitors to The National Forest to think tomorrow. I hope some will smile too.

What I really want them to think next is "why do we chop these down, bring them indoors, trim them up and watch them slowly die before shredding them all?" and "Why do we write our name and someone else's in countless cards?" (more dead trees) and "why the guilt and spending on presents?" . It does make some sense to me to decorate our homes at the darkest, coldest and most dismal time of year, but I don't know how many people think about why they're doing it.

There are probably genuine answers to all of these questions (Dive will probably be able to tell us the origins of them all), all having bugger all to do with events 2000-odd years ago, and more to the point, answers which very few of us know or care about.

I guess there's some kind of comfort or enjoyment in a ritual, even when its origins have been lost in the past. Let's enjoy seeing our families; think a bit more about what we're doing and why; and most importantly, spend a bit less on the whole exercise. Please.


Almost a week later, this is the first chance that I've had to visit in daylight. Everything's pretty much as I left it! I thought that the first breath of wind would blow all of the baubles away, but at the moment the weather's very cold but very still.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Blackfordby Spire

  • Walked: 9 December 2006
  • Distance: 8m
  • Terrain: Some inclines
  • Summary: Starting at the Heart of The National Forest, Ashby de la Zouch, walk to Blackfordby, continue out to Woodville, then back in a loop to Blackfordby and a different Route back to Ashy.
  • Time: 2.5 hrs

Last wrote about this walk in November last year. Today the miserable day matched my mood.