1 EAGLETON NOTES: Walking

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Walking

I love walking. I always have done. The areas I loved for walking as a young man were North Wales and The English Lake District. There was an openness and a closeness to the countryside because of the smallness. Scotland is wonderful and grand but many of its mountains could not be climbed by someone living on Merseyside (as I did until I came to live in Scotland) half a century ago without taking a holiday for the purpose. However I could get into the car and spend a day or a weekend on the Lake District fells. And I often did. One of my favourite places in the sixties was Borrowdale and, particularly, the little village of Grange-in-Borrowdale where I used to stay at Riggside. This is the post office in, I think, 1970.


The wide open treeless fells were often used for hound trailing. Unlike hunting a man ran with a scented lure tied behind him and the hounds set off later.


Like Yorkshire Pudding, one of my principal loves when out walking was taking photographs.


I wrote this because of a recent post by Librarian who writes frequently about her wonderful walks and recently showed us a walk through coniferous forests. I love deciduous forests but I cannot walk alone through coniferous forests without becoming hemmed in with claustrophobia and a real feeling of dread. What is odd is that I don't feel like that if I have a companion. Out on the fells though there is no such feeling at all. One is free.

34 comments:

  1. I love your wide open rolling hills.

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    1. Thank you Red. Those are all of the English Lake District in the sixties.

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  2. I have driven through some tall forests and I can imagine they could be claustrophobic.

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    1. Oddly, Kylie, it's only when I'm on foot and alone that I have the feeling.

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    2. I have been in coniferous forests alone and thought it was wonderful! Odd, innit, how everyone's perception is different?

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    3. It certainly is Mrs S. I think it's the fact that, in the Clocaenog Forest where I first remember walking alone, the trees are very dense and dark.

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  3. My late father was a great walker and mountain climber; I just stick to the walking. My day isn't complete unless I've been out in the woods, with the dog, for at least an hour.

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    1. My lifestyle has never been suitable for dog ownership Cro. It would, though, at least ensure that I did go for a daily walk which I rarely do these days I regret to say. I should re-order my priorities.

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  4. Wide open spaces are my true love, but I don't mind walking along a more secretive path through dense forest or between hedgerows. It is high buildings that feel oppressive to me, not trees.
    One of my favourite places in terms of wide open space is the headland at Scarborough, with the ruins of Scarborough Castle on top. I have not been there in about 10 years and am not sure yet I want to go there again without Steve. I might, though.

    I need walking for my mental health just as much as for my physical well-being, I think. Your photos are beautiful! I am glad you still have them from that time.

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    1. Meike I just don't like cities at all. I go to them, of course, and was brought up in one but walking as a pastime for me has to be in the country. I have photos from my childhood to yesterday and am supposed to be sorting them. I never get far though because I spend my time lost in the memories instead.

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  5. Coming from Australia we think we know all about wide open spaces but I've never experienced that feeling of "big sky" like I have on visits to England. Your second photo is a prime example of it. We were even lucky to stumble on a dog event like the one in the photo while there many years ago.

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    1. Helsie my experience of the Australian wide open spaces is (apart from a trip into the Blue Mountains) confined to the West Coast when I travelled from Margaret River up to Shark Bay. It was one of the most wonderful experiences I've had.

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  6. Graham, Hi, I posted belatedly on yesterdays blog, not sure if you will look back there again. I was just asking about the bit at the top of your blog about your being a potter. Do you still do this? My hubby spends a lot of his leisure time potting and when not potting he is out walking in our lovely Yorkshire countryside.

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    1. Hi Beverley. I always go back to blog posts (even though I do miss some comments occasionally) and I was just in the process of replying to your last comment. I gave up potting when I sold the pottery in 2005. You have my email address in my profile (and probably on Google Plus) and if you would care to send me yours I will explain more and tell you why I am intrigued.

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  7. Wonderful photos, Graham. Beauty captured brilliantly...and obviously enjoyed by he who did the capturing. :)

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    1. Thank you Lee. Yes I very much enjoyed my days in the Lake District.

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  8. With your new knee, walking reasonable distances should again become a delight for you. Walking always lifts my spirits... except when it is raining. Walking puts other things into perspective doesn't it? Thanks for sharing your Lake District pictures. How about a photo walk near the northern tip of The Eye Peninsula when a pleasant day is promised? Up to Tiumpan Head and round. I would love to read about this and enjoy resulting pictures.

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    1. Well you've set me a challenge YP. I suspect it won't be until Spring because of the weather and the fact that I'm working full days at my Son's house at the moment.

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    2. You are not your son's slave Graham! I call this elder abuse.

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  9. I think I know that post office! We had many wonderful holidays in the Lake District when my children were young. It was the only place where they would go walking and picnicking whatever the weather.

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    1. I wonder if we were ever there at the same time Frances. Stranger things have happened.

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  10. Oh, Graham, I am now intrigued as to why you are intrigued????? I will send you an e mail, that is if I can find your e mail address.

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  11. I will need a bit of help to find your e mail account Graham. I have looked all round your blog and can't find it.

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    1. Beverley in the 'good old days' Blogger's profile gave all the details and I included my email address there. I'd quite forgotten that when one goes to profile now one gets the Google Plus profile which just goes round in circles so far as I can see. I don't use Google Plus at all although I have many Google Plus accounts because I have many email addresses.

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  12. Beautiful scenes from your past walks. It is unusual to feel claustrophobic in a pine forrest. Keep walking.

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    1. Thanks Diane. I find it surprising that it's unusual to feel claustrophobic in a pine forest because the trees are so close and overpowering and dark. I've never felt that in New Zealand where the trees where I've walked have been slightly less close together than in British forests but then I've never been on my own in a New Zealand forest.

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  13. I suppose I wouldn't recommend you to go travelling on your own in Sweden, then... We have a lot of coniferous forests!! In the village where I lived between age 5-20, we could go straight out into the forest from our garden. (I never feel quite sure when to call it forest vs woods. I suppose it's a bit like fog vs mist, perhaps...) I don't really like going too deep into an unknown forest on my own (for one thing, I'd be afraid of getting lost). On the other hand, I can feel panic in wide open landscapes too. On the third hand (there I go again), I'm not a huge fan of really Big Cities either. I guess my preference is a nice bit of nature scenery but with civilisation comfortably close by :)

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    1. I was just reminding myself what everyone said on this post Monica when I realised that I had missed your comment. Apologies: particularly as you raised so many points. I assumed that a forest is just a large wood (usually grown commercially if it is coniferous) but I found this on the internet:

      When does a wood become a forest?

      THOUGH authorities can, as much now as in the Middle Ages, define any area as a forest for administrative purposes (eg the Red Rose Community Forest), a working modern definition of a forest would be "an area of countryside which is largely wooded and uncultivated, but contains within it two or more human communities". This concept has evolved from Anglo-French perceptions of the former legally-defined medieval forests in their declining years, when timber was their most valuable resource. Originally, the pleasures of hunting were an equally important reason for medieval monarchs and lords to keep large areas of land uncultivated, and most of the original English and French forests were more likely to be dominated by heathland than woodland; the word itself had nothing to do with trees. David Bradbury, The Woodland Trust, Grantham, Lincs.

      When you can't see the wood for the trees. Matthew Job, London

      I wooden know. Mary, Halifax, Canada

      Woods don't become forests any more. Forests become woods. Woodentop, London

      Wooden you like to know. Jo, Leeds UK

      I could tell you, but then I wood have to kill you. Adrian and Michelle, Canberra, Australia

      However my favourite was:

      When you're lost. R J Dobson, Perth, Australia

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  14. Your first picture made me remember how it felt to be setting out for a day on the fells. You were obviously a talented photographer then, too.

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    1. I'm glad that the post stirred a memory. Thank you for the compliment Jenny.

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