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Tuesday, 9 September 2014


I have had the time to go for long walks in recent weeks and I have the good fortune to live near a country park.

Several things have struck me as I meander through the trees, stroll at the edge of a lake, hesitate on bridges to savour the views.  I listen to ducks, crows, swans, to mini waterfalls, branches shaking and unknown little beasties shuffling in the undergrowth.  Peace, mainly quiet and just about as wonderful a place to be to think, to not think, to just be.

Every now and then, I meet other people and without fail we exchange hellos and, perhaps, a few other friendly words.

(Incidentally, I've noticed that if I say: "Lovely day",  the standard response is: "Yes, beautiful."  But, if I say: "Beautiful day.", it throws people.  As Harry Worth used to muse: "I don't know why, but there it is.")

As it's a country park, some people bring their dogs and, despite signs urging them to keep their pets on leads, I see that very few people do.  "Dogs Must Be On A Lead" must translate as "Let Your Animals Run Loose And Free".  It is similar to people who interpret double-yellow lines in towns as a clear invitation to park on top of them.

Two days ago, I observed a loose dog scaring two swans and their brood of cygnets.  One of the swans was hissing and flapping like crazy, protecting the family.  It was an unnecessary confrontation and could easily have been avoided had the dog been under control.  It's not the dog's fault.  He/she can't read and doesn't know the rules.

The owner may well have been out for a dander before going to his Specsavers appointment, I pondered graciously, as I eased back into my laid back wandering.

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