Pandemic Pondering #30

Book bags and Woodland walks, featuring dog bums

We don’t forward plan much these days. A firming up of rules on driving to exercise during Coronovirus Restrictions freed us up to venture just a little further afield. The journey also gave us the chance to drop bags of books on the doorsteps of ‘Shielding Bookworms’ , actually members of a local book club,who need to self isolate for 12 weeks. Describing them as I did I made them sound like a covert infestation requiring pesticide.

Cadsonbury Woods, a Riverside walk near Callington has been a favourite walk for 30 years. It has an additional uphill walk to an ancient Hill Fort. We rarely do that because we always have the dogs and the fields are often being grazed by sheep. Without the dogs we would normally sprint up hills of such challenging gradients like mountain goats. Not today.
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There were a few cars in the car park but we mostly had the woods to ourselves. Most visitors must have been of the mountain goat variety.

The birdsong was beautiful and recent work, felling trees to protect the river bank from erosion, had really opened up the walk to bright daylight. We even found a Memorial Bench.

There’s a lot of dog bums in the following pictures, some faces, some nature in springtime but I completely forgot to take a picture of the most significant part of the outing.

A cup of tea from a flask and a shortbread biscuit, which we had to share, after a couple of hours of walking in the woods. Bliss in these unusual times.

Advent#3

December Sunset at Churchtown Farm. This works in two ways , it is a brilliant December image for Advent and the location fits nicely into the Memorial Bench category. This bench is not the one that inspired my memorial bench writings but it is the one that I see the most often as it’s on my regular dog walk. It often gets a mention on the Churchtown Farm Facebook page, because people get such peace and solace from perching here. It is placed overlooking a beautifully peaceful stretch of the River Lynher. Jupiter Point, part of HMS Raleigh is the silver twinkles at the far left of this image. Beyond the Navy the water here is pretty quiet, troubled only by sailing boats and the occasional gig from Caradon Pilot Gig Club based in Saltash.A17EB3BB-A74D-4FD2-8A4D-713A9B76BE6C

This bench is unusual because it is so solid and the commemoration is carved into the wood, it’s solidity increases the sense of its permanence in the landscape. The location is so beautiful and the seat so comfy it’s hard to walk past . Not necessarily efficient dog walking but perfect for pondering. It’s what3words location is react.sometime.breeze

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Terry Conway

My first bench story comes to me from a new friend. We met at a writing course organised by The Gentle Author at The Town House, Spitalfields. Liz heard me talking about wanting to write about memorial Benches and emailed me the next day.Terry Conway was a friend of hers, and goodness me does he have a lovely bench. It is situated just outside Allendale and overlooks a spectacular view. The location for Terry’s bench using what3words is beyond.envy.beauty. “These words are somehow very appropriate for Terry who wrote lyrical songs about the beauty of Northumberland”mused Liz. Luckily for this blog Terry was the subject of a Guardian Other Lives Obituary. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/aug/01 You can also hear Terry on this YouTube clip. https://youtu.be/fcCLmqUIM9w


For anyone not interested in following links. Terry was a council roadman for 30 years and a hugely respected singer and songwriter in the Folk tradition. His day job inspiring his songwriting. Fittingly the
commemoration of Terry’s bench was a folk music moment.

I am so lucky to have met Liz. What a rewarding way to start writing about memorial benches.