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Monthly Archives: February 2011
In my article on walkabouts I described how when Australian Aboriginals go ‘walkabout’ they follow paths known as ‘songlines’ or ‘dreaming lines’. It reminded me of Ley Lines. Ley Lines could be said to be the Western European equivalent of ‘songlines’, but only in that they are similarly believed to be connections between ‘sacred’ sites.
Following on from the ‘smash hit’ of my ‘Taking a Preposition for a Walk’ series (smile), I thought I’d take a few strolls around the World (Wide Web) while at the same time ‘Taking a Noun for a Walk’. Again, this is on the same lines as Paul Klee’s definition of drawing as ‘taking a line for a walk. The definition ties in neatly with this, my first ‘walk with a noun’ in the series – ‘Walkabout’ – as this also involves ‘lines’.
In my recent post about Walking Festivals I’ve highlighted only a few of those which take place in the UK each year. Research into the topic resulted in a substantial list of UK walking festivals so I thought it might be useful and interesting to explore … Continue reading
Are you planning a walking holiday? You could plan one around a ‘Walking Festival’.
This sort of walking holiday has various added bonuses. They present opportunities to meet ‘kindred spirits’ – others who like to walk; to learn more about the countryside; there are social events to entertain and talks to enjoy. Festivals are a good way to introduce children to walking, especially as festivals generally include family walks especially designed for children.
Even if you usually walk only as a family unit or by yourself (like me) it’s likely to be rewarding to occasionally share your walking experience and a festival might be a good idea if you are new to walking and uncertain about where to go.
It’s exquisite isn’t it, the image. It’s part of an illustration, the original of which is an Indian (Asian) painting. It’s in a book I found in a ‘brocante’ near the house we used to own in northern France. We visited frequently, to browse the secondhand and antiquarian furniture and goods. The book is full of such delightful illustrations. This one pulls out to three times the width of the book, which is a French language version of a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling: ‘Monsieur l’Elephant’. It’s a ‘posh’ limited edition, marketed originally for children.
I wouldn’t have found this book had I not been at the time on a specific quest for books. I wasn’t looking for content however, just books with interesting covers. The idea was to recycle unwanted books into handbags by scooping out the insides (i.e. the texts), adding ‘sides’ of fabric and handles. Like many of my ‘good ideas’, it was doomed to failure of course.
The activity of walking can be for more reasons than just the personal. I thought it would be worthwhile researching and reviewing some sites devoted to ‘walking on purpose’, beginning with walking for charitable causes. Continue reading
I love forests and woods. In part it is because they represent shelter and therefore ‘home’, perhaps the ideal home, with walls that not only breath, but in doing so, produce ‘breath’ for the humans who dwell in them. Dense canopies of leaves are ‘sighing’ ceilings, which open and close in tune with weather and season and from which food falls a-plenty for nourishment of man, beast and bird. The forest is where man and creature can peacefully co-habit. While man builds his shelter at ground level, the treetops are tenements to bird and squirrel.
“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees”. E. F Schumacher
I agree with the principle Schumacher is expressing. I can’t be quite happy with the analogy with pigs. We humans, the only creatures on the planet capable of growing in ‘consciousness’ should become aware that our ‘job’ is to grow into greater consciousness and in doing so, nurture the planet and its natural abundances.
One of the UK Government’s ‘good ideas’ for saving money is to sell off public woodlands into the private sector. This has quite rightly caused an uproar amongst those who have fought for many years to protect not just woodlands, but all of the beauty that makes the British Isles such an attraction to peoples of all nations. Selling off public woodlands will endanger the englishness of England, the scottishness of Scotland, the welshness of Wales and the irishness of Ireland and let’s not forget the ‘islandness’ of all of the isles off the coast of Britain, each with their unique character.
A woman is wearing sunglasses on a dull, rainy day. She takes them off to reveal swollen and bruised eyes. “I walked into a door”, she says. Knowing looks are exchanged. Continue reading