#494 theoldmortuary ponders

When I was young and we took our holidays in Devon I was always thrilled to see a Dartmoor pony. Wild horses did not roam in North East Essex. Wild horses were the thing of pop lyrics and imported American dramas. At 30 I moved to the west country and took a job that required me to commute across Dartmoor for half of each year. Commuting is tedious wherever it takes place. I realise I have had some of the most picturesque commutes in Britain. 10 years along the seafront at Brighton, 20 years crossing Dartmoor and 10 on the number 3 bus, or walking across the Milleniun Bridge from Tate Modern to St Pauls in London.

Only a fool could ever be bored on such journeys but a commute is exactly that. A journey between A and B with a time constraint. The pressure to be somewhere on time and ready to perform. So when I visit these locations as a non commuting person some of the old commuting anxieties flood in. The London commute was obviously complicated by traffic, protesters and terrorism at different times in my ten years. Similarly Brighton, the IRA bombing The Grand Hotel on Brighton seafront affected an already congested seaside city for months. Dartmoor was a distinctly different sort of commuting jeopardy. Livestock grazing on common land have no respect for a busy clinic schedule up in North Devon so meandering slowly up a road is their birthright. Similarly Dartmoor farmers, slow moving tractors with rickety trailers and truculent attitudes rarely bothered to pull over. In Devon and Cornwall many people really do check to see if you have a local numberplate before they decide if they will let you pass. The summer months bring the joy and wealth of tourists. Tourists who think nothing of abandoning their cars on the side of an already small road to capture a photograph of a wild pony. Which is exactly what we did yesterday.

I have no shame and no commuting anxiety.

Catkins on Hazel
Lychen on twigs
Dogs in a tree-stump cathedral.

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