A work meeting for 11:30 in the morning is called off because someone’s sick (get well soon Ann Marie x). So what to do? Shall I fill in the time before my next appointment at 2 in the afternoon with other work or shall I go for a walk in the early spring sunshine? Easy choice, I put my boots on and set off.
So I walk in that general direction, with detours.
Days and sudden spare time like this don’t occur so often that they can be ignored. Living, as I still do, with the attitude of what would I choose to do if I had a year left to live? For all of 2014 I wrote a series of blog posts about this and it quietly changed my life. Read my main conclusions here if you like.
A few weeks ago I had a walk round Stanley Park with my friend Rachael O’Byrne one winter’s morning. Well today we walked there again, with some other friends, because spring is on its way and we’re going to watch it carefully as it turns up in our lovely Stanley Park.
I love all of the days and times of the year, but particularly this one. The throw the doors open, let the light in, eat outside, springtime. Like the first time you heard ‘Up town top ranking’ or ‘One day like this’ it gets me every time. The upsurging joy of spring.
Some of it though is so fleeting or so tiny that you can easily miss moments and wildflowers if you’re not looking for them. I’ve been looking for them, together with Sarah. And here are a few our cameras have gathered in.
Like last night as it finally grew dark I went over to draw the curtains and saw this, in the Liverpool sky to my west.
Sarah tells me that in asronomy this is known as an ‘occultation.’ Aldebaran at the bottom there (the bright star 54 times the size of our own Sun) is either emerging from or about to be hidden behind our Moon. So there.
But even better is the not dark sky of the springtime Northern Hemisphere. So much more light every day that flowers are blooming everywhere you look.
So another springtime reliably arrives in Walton Hall Park in North Liverpool. Nothing special, just an ordinary miracle? Well maybe not. For reasons we’ll be coming to this could be one of the grand park’s final springtimes.
But to tell the full story today’s long and intensely photographed walk begins in another park a couple of miles away.
Over there next to Diana Street, the place where I was born. Many of my baby days would be spent in here, the park at the end of the road.
It’s a Street Market morning, first one of the year. Winter has passed, the light has returned and all feels well with the world as I set off for Granby. Though the days of darkness have been hard for many our once every five years go at proper democracy is only a month away. And dull though the election campaign has been so far, it does lift the heart to know that the current custodians of austerity politics may well be gone soon, despite the barking and howling of their lap dog and attack dog media.
This blog hasn’t done a site visit to Granby 4 Streets since early February, so I thought it was about time we did. Because things have been moving on.Three weeks ago now, at the beginning of March I come here late on in an afternoon.
Still soft-stripping the Community Land Trust houses at this stage, so this side of the mostly empty street relatively undisturbed.
In Herefordshire earlier this week it is still late wintertime as we set out walking on a mostly sunny day.We are staying near the village of Shobdon, halfway between Kington and Leominster, and set off on a circular walk Sarah has downloaded from the local village shop.
A Friday Walk then, in all but name, as it’s happening on a Saturday. And a walk done so many times it’s become a meditation now. The Shining Shore.Taking place in the lanes around Thurstaston on the far side of the Wirral, I’ve not been here since last March. Mostly urban walking in Liverpool since then. But we’re both off work today and it’s good to get out here together on holiday.