It always surprises me how close I live to the countryside. Growing up in greater London, the countryside was something you actually had to make the effort to go out and see. It certainly wasn’t in walking distance. Now I have grown up and moved out of the big smoke, (and have nearly lived out of London longer than I lived in it) there are few things more satisfying to me than knowing that I can walk out of my front door and after a few minutes I can be out in the open countryside. Today was no different.
Recently I had set myself the challenge of completing a 5km walk on this particular Sunday morning. Not a lot for some people, but for me this would be a significant achievement. Normal ‘big walks’ for me are only about 2km. In preparation for the challenge, I had planned that we would walk around the water meadows and back into town via the Abbey.
10 minutes into the walk on this cloudy morningand we are already at the canal. The water flowing gently along was so peaceful for a Sunday morning. Walkingalong watching the sparrows and spotting fish darting around against the
current, we made our way further out of town.
Journeying on, the canal grew more wild, as did the path. The hustle and bustle of the town was slowly ebbing away with the flow of the water next to me. I could feel the tension slipping away. We walked past some children fishing and made way for runners and other walkers to pass us when the path was too narrow for any more than single file. I love how people always say ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’. We stop to make friends with a shy black Labrador and his human, who took great delight in telling us all about her adventures the weekend previously. People are so friendly in this environment, I think it’s all the fresh air.
Heading back towards town, the church bells gradually fill the atmosphere as we walk closer to the Abbey. People file out of the church in their Sunday best, and behind the ancient building, children wait eagerly to be released from Sunday school. Like us, they are keen to get home for some lunch and to enjoy the last hours of the weekend before the normality of the working week comes crashing upon us.
And so that is what we did.