Thursday, 28 February 2013

Magic lamposts

Magic lamposts?
I said I would come back to the lampposts.As you no doubt know lampposts are on timers set to turn them on or off. That is the prosaic truth.  I prefer the feeling of being magic. As the mornings get lighter the clocks adjusted the timers are switching the lampposts off at the same time I am walking to work. I don't know if the timers are set manually but they do not all go off at once but in sequence.

If I time it just right and walk at a brisk pace I can be Dumbledore making each lamppost go out just as I reach it. What can I say it amuses me.
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
(Roadl Dahl, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)

Feathers, fur and figments of imagination

maypole dogs are not my only animal kingdom encounter.  Birds are the main stay of course.  In the very early mornings when it is still dark but the dawn is hinting, they sing.  That little snippet of dawn chorus makes me feel alive.  Of course unlike the elusive milkman the proof of their existence is not limited to signs of their presence.  The birds put in an appearance all along the route.  Black birds dart out from the bushes and hedges, crows and jays strut across the roads and more open spaces.  Pigeons perch precariously on the tops of lampposts (the magic of which is again for another entry) and the occasional robin bobs about the school fence.

Slinking cats have become more of a feature recently, new arrivals to the housing estate.  More eagerly looked for are the rabbits and squirrels (grey, sorry red would be great but grey is better then nothing) which I get to see nearer the town centre, where a finger of dean with groupings of trees bisects my way. They are always a pleasure to see and a tiny pause when they are sighted is not unusual.

One singular exceptional morning occasioned more than the usual slight halt in my progress. Early winter, cold misty morning before the frosts had set in, I could smell the green of the school field before I reached it.  The last cut of the grass before full winter had infused the air which that particularly evocative smell.  Just as I turned the corner where I can see the field itself over the hedge and bush, my eye caught a glimpse of white.  I turned my head for a better look at the expected rabbit flashing its cotton tail just a bit as it moved.  Then I stopped and stared and looked harder in astonishment.

Not a rabbit, deer, three deer in the middle of the fenced in old school playing field.  I almost wished I had company to confirm the sight. Now I have lived in this place for as I have mentioned before a lot of years, this school field belonged to what was my infant and junior school.  I have walked in the accessible parts of the dean and travelled up and down the roads which bisect it which all have signs beware deer crossing and I have never ever before seen even the flash or a retreating tail!I was almost convinced they were a figment of the sign manufacturer's imagination. Yet there were three just standing to be admired mist swirling about their legs all Bambi's mother. Transfixed I stood stiller than they and watched uncaring for bus timetables, there would be others, or for getting to work, it would likely still be there, just suffused with wonder and delight. I presume it was the amazing cut grass smell which had drawn them up from the depths of the trees, through the space where the school gate used to be across the scrub ground of my childhood class rooms and the silent playground tarmac and to squeeze one at a time through the gap in the metal fence, created by some enterprising youths wanting access to the field.  But as the logic of why they were there flitted through my mind as they retraced their steps and left my view was not  the focus of my thoughts.  The sheer all encompassing euphoria was the focal thought.

As I got moving again the litany, I saw deer, I really saw deer repeated over in my mind, I even said it aloud to make it more real.  And there has not even been a passing car, muffled up cyclist or other walker passing to share and validate the moment.  Did it need validation? No, it made my whole day and even week lighter just to think of it, it still makes me smile and each time I see one of those signs I grin and think you were true after all, does the sign make it real?  So if I make a sign that says beware dragons crossing, what are my chances? Oh and I still caught the bus, it was a little late, perhaps the driver saw something amazing on his way to work, oh and yes work was still there as well.   

Friday, 15 February 2013

Down from the door where it began...

yip that is a line from a poem in Lord of the Rings and the next step in my journey is of course out of the door, although not too sure I can honestly say I manage the "with eager feet" part.

Mind getting to the door is a whole contraction of time.  I recognise looking back that at first, ever concerned to catch the bus, I gave myself loads of time to get going and be there well before the bus was due. Six years on it is all timed to the second so that I get there just in time, well at least that is the plan.

I digress and the subject of time and it's passage in relation to the world of the bus is for future contemplation.

So out of the door and here is my first interaction, the milk bottles,
Evidence of the existence of the milkman
I am always just not tripping over them. I never see the milk man, he is one of those even earlier than me poor souls, but there is the milk so he must exist.  Spillage avoided out the gate and onward.  There are two sets of stone steps to navigate, I did so poorly once at the first step slipping on leaves and falling ungracefully down. Mostly I forget about it unless there are leaves about, my ankle and knee however have memories of their own and give a little twinge of acknowledgement in passing.

Steps down, or up?
Round the corner and man with dogs is often there, holding them back lest they and I become entangled.  I think there are only five but they are little, excited from their morning walk and always mange to look like maypole dancers with leads for ribbons and their owner trying to avoid being the pole.  For a few weeks this was an encounter of nods, the occasional "morning" developing in comments about the weather and time keeping, depending where on the path we meet. A cheerful greeting brightens the morning, which is quite a feat when the morning is still dark.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

An alarm goes off, a light goes on..

that is the way my morning and my journey to work starts and is also the beginning of my blogging journey as well.

Let me explain, six years ago I changed job and started taking the bus to work instead of walking.  I start at what still feels like silly of the night although I know many another has a far earlier wake up call.  As much as the jangling of the alarm disturbs my sleep and gets me started on a new day and journey, an unrelated comment about how much time we spend sitting down rang its own bell.  I suddenly though of the obvious, about how much of my life I spend going to and fro between home and work.  All the chunks of my life which are taken up with that process.

And the light?  Well that would be my friend Roni starting her own blog about her less geographical based journey with the Open University " Life outside the washing basket" and I thought I can do that!  I can relate the bits of my life that happen in those lost hours, the fragments of other people's lives that connect in whatever way with traveling me.

So here I am at  the beginning and perhaps I shall have some company along the way.