‘On a dark and winter’s day walking round Port Sunlight
Half factory, half village, all about us in the gentle rain
A day of talking quietly, unfolding curiosity
Together like our early days, out finding a sense of place.’
‘Together on my birthday, out finding a sense of place.’
The day before Christmas Eve I wrote and photographed a poem called “Letting Go: A Quiet Breath” and the quiet days have continued here from then through to this new year of 2018.
These beloved souls are my three grandchildren: Finn, 3; Theo, 8, and Eleanor, 11. In the park with their parents, Simon, with Finn on his shoulders and my daughter Clare, who took the beautiful photograph.
A little later I’m on the other side of The Mystery, gazing up at the Moon.
The evening passes in quiet thoughts of what was good in 2017, what didn’t really work out and what might change as the year gets called 2018. We call these new year changes resolutions, but of course some of them are nothing of the sort. While we can all change stuff like what we eat, how much we run and, maybe, the work we do, much else that we’d like to happen is in the realm of wishes and dreams, like always.
Still, we can all change some of what’s immediately around us, so this morning finds us back at Sarah’s allotment, where we’ve spent several of these quiet days.
Recently on here I’ve been writing about being self-employed and the kinds of work I do. About how much I like variety in the work I take on and the stress it caused me recently when I found myself doing too much of one thing.
So when I read this article by Owen Jones in The Guardian, suggesting that a four day working week could be good for our economy, our society and our health, I remembered.
I remembered that ever since I began leaving my day job in the mid-1990s and becoming self-employed one of my objectives in doing so has been to work less. Not that I don’t enjoy the work I do. I do, and one of the big things I’ve always gone on about is finding and doing the work you love. And I have, mostly. But a core part of living the life I’ve had over this last 22 years has been to have more time than I used to have for me.
A ‘Letter from Sarah’ here with a slight difference. She’s put all the structure together, taken and selected all the photographs and will be the main writer. But I went on the day out in North Wales too, so we’re going to sit and write together. My occasional contributions in italics.
So… with one thing and another it’s been a while since me and Ronnie have had a day out together. Me being up in Knoydart, off in my kayak, and of course, Ronnie not being well from early August, have all meant that we’ve simply not had the time or wellness until now to pack our day bags and go off exploring.
I’ve suggested that we come to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct today, out of sheer curiosity. (For those of you not fluent in Welsh, a helpful sign tells us, ‘Pontcysyllte’ is prounounced Pont-ker-sulth-tay.)
We arrive at Trevor Basin, not far from Llangollen.
It’s the day the clocks have gone back so we’re a bit disoriented. And after an early start from home we eat much of our packed lunch as soon as we arrive. Though our watches are telling us it’s only 11am our bodies know full well it’s lunchtime.
The second section of our walk along the whole of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. 127 miles to Leeds with 119 to go. On this day we cover the 8 miles from Aintree to Downholland Cross, walking out of Liverpool.
Quality graffiti here. So today will we be Riders on the Storm who will Break on Through to the Other Side? Well.
It’s a ‘paramo’ thing and apparently ‘jacket’ is hardly the word for something that will prove to keep her warm, keep her dry, keep her cool, keep her ventilated and be her best friend when other humans, me, aren’t quite up to the mark. It’s a miracle. And you can keep canal maps in the front. Continue reading “Out of Liverpool: Walking to Leeds Section 2”
A series of walks, in an as yet unknown number of sections, where Sarah and I will walk to Leeds along the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
We began this walk last Sunday by walking through this magic doorway and then having the idea of walking all of the rest of the way to Leeds over the next few months.In the week since then our resident map maker Sarah has been planning the possible sections of the walk and we’ve both got quite excited about doing something so obvious we wonder why it took us so long to think of it.
Anyway the Sunday after we first have the idea we get the train to Sandhills and walk back a little way to Boundary Street to resume this Section One where we left off last week.
On our way into Wales Sarah and I drive through many miles of the brutal ‘we’ve broken the sky’ kind of rainfall we get too often in these climate-changing days. But we keep going because, well, it’s a day out, an adventure and we’re determined to enjoy it.Besides, we’ve been where we’re going many times before, though not for a long time now, and we know it can have good weather even when it’s raining everywhere else. That’s how it is with Paradise.
Across the bridge then to Anglesey and two left turns later we arrive at Niwbwrch. Where we turn left again, through the pine woods and down to the beach.