“Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth; Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love. My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer; A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe, My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go. Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow; Farewell to the straths and green valleys below; Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods; Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods. My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer; A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe, My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.”
Winter is definitely here in Melbourne and I feel every bit of it in Chelsea. But I am not complaining even if the dampness soaked into the bone in my knee and my hair stood frozen through the gusty cold wind. My walking stick could not keep me in firm balance to withstand the strong gust on the bank of the sandy beach for long. I walked slowly back climbing into my little car seeking warmth.
My first day ventured out since I arrived home from my journey, and only because I ate almost everything in the house and had to go out for some provision. Ever so slowly getting over my jet lag that the hours of the day seemed little confusing at times. And still I am not complaining but counting myself so lucky to have had such a fabulous six weeks travelling to places that I longed to see for so long.
The first proper meal I made was a prawn laksa with rice noodle, something with a bit of zing to chase the cold winter away and my chilli bush gave an abundance crop of fruit which added some heat to the dish. As normal I used anything I could find in my kitchen’s spice cupboard and had no measurement to show you. But I think when it came to making laksa, measurement was not really necessary and one just had to do it according to individual taste, perhaps that’s why I always found each laksa tasted different each time.
Despite of how slow I walked during the last five weeks wandering over England, Scotland and Wales, my left knee started to give me some discomfort during the last few days while stopping at my son’s house in Surrey on the last leg of my journey.
It turned out that I have sprained my knee without knowing until a slip on a doorway at a café yesterday, which gave me an excruciating pain that the doctor had to be called, now I was ordered to rest from all my modest up-hill-and-down-dale wanders. The next five days will be just rests and exercises for my knee to heal before a long flight back to Australia.
I tried not to think that my journey should end on a low note, that was not what I intended. Maybe I should consider myself fortunate that I am not in a worse situation and the high note is yet to come?
Anyway, the weather has been good everyday, and the granddaughters have been wonderful for hugging and kissing on daily basis.
My son thought it was a drastic measure on my part to get out of babysitting, and worse still to get some attention by two good-looking strangers who just happened to be around helping me every little step from the café to the car. It might have been only 50 steps but I managed to drag them out to a hundred, at least!
Last but not least, I am now also a proud owner of this cool walking stick, which came with a flashlight and an alarm and it can be folded down to the size of a folded small umbrella. Serious James Bond’s stuff indeed! 🙂
Tintern was also a very pretty little village on the bank of Wye River in Monmouthshire about five miles to the border with England where my train arrived in Chepstow. There is a bus from Chepstow taking you all the way, to the town of Monmouth passing through Tintern every hour.
I hopped on the bus just outside the hotel heading to Monmouth, though I did not think much of the town itself, the bus ride was worth every penny for the scenery. The valley and meadows were such picturesque landscape to marvel on. Henry V was a Monmouth baby he was born in Monmouth Castle in 1387.
My many morning walks through the meadows by the river are still the best things on this trip. Where I also met many nice people from everywhere including Australia. Wye Valley shall definitely be the place had the most magic for me…
“… I hear this water, rolling from their mountain-springs, with the soft inland murmur. Once again, do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs that on a wild secluded scene impress. Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect the landscape with the quiet of the sky…
…The mountain and the deep and gloomy wood; their colours and their forms, were then to me an appetite; a feeling and a love that had no need of a remoter charm…
… For I have learned to look on nature, not as on the hour of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes the still sad music of humanity…
… I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused. Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and the living air, and the blue sky and in the mind of man: A motion and spirit that impels…
… Therefore am I still the lover of the meadows and the woods, and mountains; and of all that we behold. From this green earth; of all the mighty word… ” William Wordsworth
Leaving the grey cold and windy morning in London, I took the train to this valley called Wye. A three-hour journey by train and it’s so worth it to finally be here!
I wandered in the warm sunny afternoon, through a churchyard’s gate came a bright green meadow. By the wild flowers among the tall ferns and stubborn weeds, below the river was running through, almost quietly though loudly the free birds sang, high above the treetops.
A place where dreams could come true, where I could breath a thousand breathes, where my heart skipped a beat joining the free birds song, yet with each step taken I thanked “thee”. For watching over me!Come wander with me…
Arrived London from the sunny weather in the Lake District to a rainy day in St John’s Wood, which I didn’t mind to have a whole of yesterday resting from walking. Today the weather is cloudy with light shower occasionally, but I decided to take a walk to Regent Park just for some exercise. Somehow I ended up on Baker Street at number 221b in Marylebone district where lived a fictional detective.
Baker Street is busy thoroughfare still remained with some Art Nouveau buildings including Chiltern Court where below stands Baker Street Station. Some famous artists: writers and composers who used to live and work in their flats here and some even died here.
When it started to rain lightly; I took the tube back to St John’s Woods, an affluent neighbourhood in a district of northwest London, a location of Lord’s Cricket Ground and is famous for Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded the Abbey Road album (the cover of the crossing.) Like all the other tourists I had my photo crossing the road a few years ago but not this time.