Category Archives: Out and About

Cheap Tin Trays!

A bored child
In Sussex
By the sea.



Today guests arrive for an ‘intensive retreat’, with a difference. Here is the write up on our website introducing the retreat.
One of the themes of this retreat is around seeing the reading and writing of poetry as a potential ‘path of awareness’. In finding ways to express what seems unsayable, poetry can reveal and clarify our understanding of ourselves. During the retreat, there will be talks/discussions on this topic, which will be integrated with sitting periods.

Those coming to the retreat were encouraged to bring a poem. Below is my poem.

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield

Everything from the exotic, hard to pronounce words, to those cheap tin trays, pig lead and firewood captured my bored wandering attention. Sitting at my desk I could picture that dirty British coaster filled with earthy items, contrasting with emeralds, amethysts, peacocks and palm-green shores. How unlike Sussex by the sea! The poem fired my imagination and pointed to a distant world beyond the waves I knew. It probably set me yearning to see the world.

There is something to be said for poetry.

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Love our UK Footpaths

I love our system of footpaths, spidering across the UK Ordnance Survey maps. I’ve followed many on foot and by pony; uphill, down dale, fells, mountains, marshes, coastal paths, long-distance paths, bridle paths. Walking can be moving meditation, mood-elevating, exciting (memorable moment on Great Gable back in 2016), frightening (also Great Gable 2016!) I could go on and on about entering the great outdoors and staying out for long hours, rain, shine, bitterly cold. Sometimes all at the same time! I’ll not go on though. A short video filmed in a church yard in Wasdale Head after that 2016 walk.

If you are a one who follows paths, don’t want our valuable historic paths to disappear then nip over to the Ramblers website and take a look at your area on the map. It’s easy.

Walkers are being urged to help identify 10,000 miles of historic footpaths that are missing from the map in England and Wales and could be lost forever.

All rights of way must be identified before a government deadline of 2026, after which it will no longer be possible to add old paths to the official record.

The walking group Ramblers is calling on walkers, historians and map enthusiasts to use its new mapping site to identify missing footpaths.

The online tool divides the official map into 150,000 1km squares so users can compare historic and current maps side by side, spot any differences and submit missing paths.

The Guardian, Walkers urged to help save historic footpaths before 2026 deadline

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Nature – California Coast

Well, it took a bit to sit through this short video considering the kind of weather we are having in Britain right now. Watching the waves crash against rocks or seafronts or rivers against bridges sets me a bit on edge given the kind of damage water can do when at it’s most ferocious. As it is today and into the night I suspect. Anyway enjoy the energy of the waves and know it’s in another country entirely.

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Nature: Songbirds in Texas (Video)

A few moments to listen and watch, peacefully.

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Nature – Kangaroos – Video

Let the sights and sounds in this video fill our hearts and may we offer spiritual merit to all those involved in the forest fires currently raging in Austraila.

“Sunday Morning” takes us to the beach in Australia, among kangaroos fleeing forest fires that have been ravaging the country. Videographer: Harry Clapson.

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