Ten-thirty in the morning, rushing around with last minute packing, My mate Rob is waiting outside, I’d better get cracking. A two hour drive north awaits for adventure to start, The excitement is starting to build in my heart. I jump in the car, the engine is running, Let’s go to a place where the scenery is stunning.
Two hours later, we’re there, the tent is pitched, Bags are dumped and without a hitch We march across farm fields – hope we don’t get a stitch! Our friend Aaron has joined us from Yorkshire, for which We are grateful as he directs our hike without a glitch, Now at the pub, for a pint we itch!
After a pint or three we treapse through country roads in rain, Amid gentle hills that keep rolling again and again. The sky is grey as rocks, as hard as stone, I’m glad I didn’t undertake this alone. Idyllic villages with churches, pubs and friendly locals, This is a trip that for a long time I shall be vocal.
After a seven mile walk and four pubs (where we socially distanced, of course), We head back to the campsite where we hear plenty of snores. Next morning, we’re up and out early as you like As we head to stunning Rutland Water to use our bikes, Through rocky trails by the lake and through woods, A seventeen mile pedal will do our legs and souls good.
On one side is the water, so still and calming, On the other there’s fields so ripe for farming. At Normanton, we whizz by the ‘floating church’ that stands on the water, Should you visit here? Yes, I think you ought to! Then, we cycle over the dam that stands so proud, For our tiniest county, Rutland should sing it loud.
For here, there’s lots and lots for whoever you are with, Cycle, hike, sail, birdwatch, even catch a fish As we finish our biking adventure, feeling stronger, I wish we’d stayed here a heck of a lot longer. We’ve experienced Rutland in such a short time space, I hope these memories never ever erase.
This weekend my friends and I descended upon Rutland, the smallest county in the UK. It may be tiny, but it packs a punch. It was great to hang out with my friends during these Covid-19 times. New rules and restrictions are important, and we managed to adapt our adventures well to that. I feel blessed to share these experiences with my friends.
The photos are a mix of ones we all took.
If you live in the UK or if you visit from abroad at some point, I hope you can visit Rutland.
Through the hazy glow of dawn, As pinks and golds stream across the land, And dance and glint across the rivers, It’s only when I’m with you that I understand. For here Time pauses and suspends, The World becomes wonderful and new. The Sleeping Sun has awoken And casts hope on everything we do.
Cloudy Monday morning, it’s 10 am. I’m jumping back on the train again. Lockdown: a four month gap gone at last. Now I settle into my seat donned in face mask. Some people, like me, look warily around, Others are maskless and wearing a frown. Still, on this first train there’s a respectful distance Between all of us wishing to extend our existence.
I’m on the connecting train now to my destination, Beginning to brim with anticipation At seeing my daughter, it’s been ages As I reflect that lockdown couldn’t contain us. Video chats where we played, had meals and laughed, Kept us bonded together as the time past. And as the train now snakes through countryside once more, I look forward to what the day has in store.
In this train carriage there’s hardly a soul about, So when will we return to normal with no doubts? I step on to the platform scouting a rest room to wash my hands, Recalling I’ve got paper towels as part of my hygiene plan. I’ll use my own cutlery in the pub for now, but that’s okay, If it means we’re safe and healthy for another day. I see my daughter in the car park with a smile and wave, To you all: if you travel, have fun, be responsible and safe.
Wherever you are in the the world, I hope you get to see your family and friends soon. Please travel safely and responsibly.
I’d love to know what you think of the poem. If you have any comments, it’d be great to hear from you.
As the sun rises and sets casting it’s pink and golden hue across the city, I while away my days perched atop this building: This building I’ve long called home, far above and far away From the people who scuttle on, oblivious to one another as I am to them.
But I prefer it this way, maintaining my own space. I’m no bother to anybody save the birds who vie for my attention. They’re my friends, after all, and they keep me on the narrow and straight, Seeking my wisdom in all the ways they consider me wise.
A few centuries ago (before the time of cars and planes or when the smoke of factories filled the air) They gave me a gloriously feathered coat. Up to that point mine had been an unsettled existence As that of a Lone Traveller is fated to be, lost between all realms in Time and Space.
I always enjoyed the dream of a solitary existence, just not to be lonely. My avian friends answered the cries of my heart, respecting my independence when people did not. And my cape of feathers brought me unbridled freedom, then: A cloak of invisibility to pass by undetected.
As Time and Memory bounded on I settled my weary bones in this World. And in this city with its noises and lights and colours My heart beats strongest as I march through the hordes and the throngs without trace To carry out the business of the birds – for they have needs like you and me.
How grateful I am when my work is done to return and share my rooftop with the sparrows and the magpies and the robins to name a few.
I wrote this inspired by the character Old Bailey in Neil Gaiman’s book ‘Neverwhere’. He’s an old man who lives on top of a building in London with birds to keep him company.
Having also watched a YouTube video about people who preferred being alone, I was able to expand on the themes of the poem. I also wanted to highlight the therapeutic qualities of the pets and animals in our lives.
I hope you liked reading it. Please feel free to leave a comment below – it’d be great to know what you think of this work.
And in the long, tall grass the crickets chattered
As we got back to what really mattered
Out on to footpaths flanked by hedge
On a pursuit to live a little on the edge.
The last few months inhibited our freedom,
Now was the time to address this wrong.
Before we left, we’d scoped the views, consulted maps,
Checked the weather, adorned our caps,
Packed our burgers, veggies and buns
To head off to the woods and have some fun.
Stove set up, we sipped our tea
And watched squirrels leap from tree to tree.
Burgers sizzling, tummies rumbling
By the time we ate there was no grumbling.
On the way back we spied a deer
As it shot through a hedge like a spear.
What a great adventure so close to home
Now we’re back we’re gonna roam.
On our first joint outing since lockdown, my mate Robin and I fancied doing something different. Breakfast in the open air was great. It’s so great that our home county of Berkshire in the UK has so many adventures. It’s so great to be outside for long periods again.
It’d be really great to read others thoughts on this. I’d really welcome your comments below.
I hope you are all well and staying safe and that you can do more stuff outdoors 😊
As Lockdown begins to slowly lift in the UK, I wrote this as we can enjoy the outdoors again. However, it’s also important to have respect for others and keep a distance as we acclimatise to this new way of being.
Wherever you are in the world, it’s my true wish that you enjoy the Great Outdoors without worry and that you stay safe.