2 August 2022

Bootsteps

Rutting stags made from driftwood - by Strawberry Lee Lane

All the house clearing, the car journeys, the phone calls, the documents, the time - it has been hard to get out for long walks in recent weeks. Consequently, I was happy to drive down Shorts Lane yesterday afternoon ready to tackle a very familiar walking route that I worked out thirty two years ago. I have written about it before in this blog.

For some reason, I was in the mood for that familiarity. I reckon that I have done that particular walk more than two hundred times. Every time it's a little bit different than the time before. I have seen many changes along the way.

Strawberry Lee Lane

One of the great benefits of walking is that it helps you to think. Bootsteps create a fundamental rhythm that tempts ideas and thoughts from their hiding places. I was thinking about Simon - far distant childhood memories and what I shall say at his funeral service. Bob Brague reminded me that a eulogy is meant to praise the departed and that is how I shall seek to say goodbye to Simon. Good things.

My very first memory is of being at the foot of the stairs in my childhood home. The grown ups were all upstairs  including Dr Baker and I didn't understand for I was two and a half years old. Then a baby cried and soon after my father came downstairs . I think he said, "You have got a baby brother" but my memory may have added that detail during the long passage of years. The business of remembering can be so fickle. Of course the baby in question was Simon. He was born in the same bed where I came into the world three calendar years before.

The dried up bed of Redcar Brook

The walking route takes me along the banks of Redcar Brook. Yesterday there was not a drop of water to be seen in it. On past occasions, I have seen it with very little water flowing but never before have I seen it all dried up like a cart track. In this part of England, we have just experienced the driest July on record.

Clint was snoring beneath the sycamores near the former site of Shorts Lane Stables. Now there's a stone mansion there with outbuildings and stabling - all newly built. Whoever funded this beautiful development must have buckets of money in store but I am not jealous. After all, money is the root of all evil.
"The Cricket Inn", Totley Bents

26 comments:

  1. Just another weather record broken, as is happening so often now. The brook must look very pretty with some water flowing over the rocks.
    It's hard to believe the house is new, or is it just the stables and outbuildings.

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    1. The brook looks best bubbling along in the springtime with swathes of snowdrops beside it. The last picture is of "The Cricket Inn" - not the new house.

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  2. The dry creek bed makes me shiver. I don't know how people can continue to deny what is happening before our very eyes.

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    1. "Global warming is a total and very expensive hoax!" - Donald Trump (2013)

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  3. Walking for me is a form of meditation.

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  4. Yep, and my sister and I were there to witness the record-breaking hottest days in Yorkshire, when really we had expected to get away from the heat back home! Even Aysgarth Falls dried up for a few days.
    Money? I guess we could safely say greed is the root of all evil, as evil was certainly making itself known among the human species long before they came up with the idea of money.
    I know what you mean about sometimes wanting the familiarity of a particular walk. It helps, doesn't it.
    As for your first memory regarding Simon, that is how I would start the eulogy.

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    1. I will. Like me Simon was christened in that very church in the stone font that is much older than the church.

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  5. I don't agree that money is the root of all evil. I think Greed earns first place, with greed for money running a very close second. Although I wouldn't mind at all having a bit more of the folding stuff myself, I'm not greedy enough to be robbing or swindling people for it.
    I think you will do fine with Simon's eulogy.

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    1. I will try my best River. I guess I owe him that.

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  6. A good walk in pleasant surroundings. Just the thing to help ease any stress.

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    1. A good walk is the best mental tonic anyone can take.

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  7. It looks a good walk, though I find the rutting stags a bit spooky. When it comes to the eulogy, good memories are the best.

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    1. He is at peace now - just like your Paul.

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  8. The love of money is the root of all evil. I like to listen to music mainly Prog Rock when I am walking. Like you say walking makes you think. Super photos.

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    1. If I ever listened to music while walking it would have to be "These Boots Are Made For Walking" by Nancy Sinatra.

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  9. It's not surprising you needed familiarity in your walk. Losing someone close to you with a lot of memories and history involved can feel like the rug has been pulled from under you. It's natural to what to cling to the familiar.

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    1. I think your analysis is spot on ADDY.

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  10. I miss walking so much because it calms my mind and lets my mind wander at the same time. The photos are lovely and green, despite the dry weather.

    It's funny because when I saw the photo of the Cricket Inn, I wondered why they would name an Inn after insects, until I looked up Cricket Inn and realized they mean the sport.

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    1. Even you can be a silly billy Nurse Lily!

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  11. "Driftwood" sculptures must be in vogue as I see them quite often these days. I always think I should try my hand at making one but never have and probably never will.

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    1. I wonder where you would find such driftwood in Iowa. Your wife would love to see a driftwood sculpture on your property. Perhaps a buffalo in memory of the thousands that were annihilated.

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  12. I would gladly take that same walk two hundred times. It is a glory.
    I love how perfectly accepted it was for women to give birth at home not so very long ago. I wish the whole process had not been handed over to the medical profession to be done in hospitals.

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  13. Those driftwood stags are very cleverly made.
    Another enjoyable walk you've taken us on YP, and Strawberry Lee Lane looks so inviting.

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  14. Yes, that is a good beginning to your eulogy, Neil! Focusing on your good memories of Simon is a wonderful way to celebrate his life and bring you peace too.
    A good walk certainly helps one think.

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  15. Iowa is bordered by four rivers, one of them I live beside. Driftwood abounds, enough for an entire herd of buffalo!

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  16. "Walk it off", she said, "and walk it off I did." Good for the temperament, good for the soul, Mr. Pudding.

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