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.
Soon after breakfast, I went out for a walk. Over the rolling hill and down by the lakeside. I could not have asked for a better morning to be in nature, all was tranquil and peaceful. I realised then, I did not miss Chelsea Beach at all for the last two weeks.
Fresh gentle breeze passed over the earth like happy sigh and the birds were out noisily greeting the day. By a garden, flowers smiled cheerfully with the morning dews still glistened on the petals so delicately.
I made my way slowly up to the top of a green grassy slope encountered no human yet but half a dozen contented sheep busily grazing their breakfast.
Here I could breathe out and inhale til my lungs expanded, the sky above me immensely blue. A sweet pain gripped at my heart, I called his name out loud and I was so sure he heard me. Or was it just the sound the sheep made as if telling me to be quiet?
I would have linger up there longer by eleven o’clock, the sun was high, the morning became a lot warmer, I was glad I did not wear my warm jacket. Again I walked slowly down, carefully not to slip thus came rolling downhill; it would make quite a spectacle then.
Now, more and more people appeared: couples hands in hands, dogs on leash, dogs running, kids running, kids on restrain… Suddenly, the whole atmosphere filled with noises, laughter, shouting, talking in all different languages and different tones; some sounded flat, others musically.
As I continued walking by the lakeside looking out to the sparkling water, people and ducks went out swimming. If there was a race I think the human would have won! A group of young Indian women and men went out to a pier posing for their snapshots. First the women, showing off different angles of their bodies: arms stretched, legs bended, hair fluttered in the wind, standing, sitting and even lying on the pier for a seductive pose… I didn’t bring my sketchbook, as it could be a few quick life study sketches during the times while these people were having fun, until someone’s iPhone accidentally felt into the lake. Oh, dear, dear…!
I walked a bit further til my feet were screaming of aches and pains. Stopping by a teahouse for a quick sandwich and a cup of tea, then wandering in the square, watching buskers performing their talents.
One more sleep then “Goodbye!” to Keswick. When the local said it sounded like “Kiss it!” to my ears.
I left Edinburgh this morning covered with thick fog that from the train, lush green landscape was only visible in a few metres. Yet arriving at the Lake District early afternoon the sun shined softly and the temperature was much more comfortable, I was eager for a gentle walk down by the lakeside
The hotel is on Main Street in Keswick and my room is looking toward the back, which is much quieter even though I could not see all the activities that happen on Market Square as I did in Lymington.
My first wandering down to the lake was so different from the last few days walking on old cobblestone streets through ancient cities of York and Edinburgh. The afternoon sun splashed layers of lights over the undulated mountaintops as though a wash of watercolour was flowing carelessly, listening to the most soothing sound of music being played sparkled with each touch. Such beauty! I could cry…
I came to a garden so lively with colours bursting, a lovely vibration invading the tranquil atmosphere. Each flower, each shrub showed off their unique beauty. And why? A lone duck seemed sad and lonely as though waiting for her beloved who was nowhere to be seen.
How grateful I am for thoughts so tender that came over me helping me to appreciate this moment in time.
“What though the radiance which was once so bright, be not forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour, of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; grief not, rather find, strength in what remains behind. In the primal sympathy which having been must ever be, in the soothing thoughts that spring, out of Human suffering, in the faith that looks through death, in years that bring philophic mind…”
On our way to the city of York, we passed by a little village with the longest name in England. “Sutton-Under-Whitestonecliffe” is between Thirsk three miles to the west of Sutton Bank, on the edge of the North York Moors. There is no village post office, no village school. Despite being on the main road to Helmsley and Scarborough, there is no public transport either. Estimated population in 2005 was 280. It is a very pretty and tranquil place to visit for a short time, but don’t think I will migrate here.
On the way we stopped at Byland Abbey, a ruined abbey and a small village in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire in the North York Moors National Park. In the care of English Heritage the impressive remains can still be seen, featuring the preservation of some of the brightly coloured medieval floor tiles.
On a nice day I could wander here for hours, today though you can see blue sky appeared behind the clouds but the wind was strong and quite chilly, my friend was eager to deliver me to York in plenty of time for her to return to Thirsk. Also I can’t wait to see York, this famous historical city I heard and read so much about.
“A fine and subtle spirit dwells, in every little flower. Each one its own sweet feeling breathes, with more or less power. There is a silent eloquence in every bluebell, that fills my soften heart with bliss, that could never tell…
… ‘Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times, that never may return!’ The lovely floweret seemed to say, and thus it made me mourn…” Anne Brontë
After a very pleasant train trip with Grand Central Rail, the journey took a bit over two hours from London to Thirsk in North Yorkshire. The town station had no lift one had to walk up some thirty steps to get out onto the street level. Fortunately I had a friend who was there to help me with my heavy suitcase.Fifteen minutes drive through the town of Thirsk, we passed a pretty hamlet of about twenty houses or so scattering among green hills, patches of yellow canola fields, and well-kept farmhouses. Arriving at Upsall Castle, a very impressive site standing on a hill above a picturesque lake where some Canadian geese made it their home peacefully raising their goslings.
The original castle from a Roman fortress which some of the walls are still standing dated back to the 13th century. Restored around the year 1800 and was burnt down in 1918 and when it was rebuilt in 192o Roman coins and artefacts were found when the workmen dug up the ground, though the pot of gold has not yet been discovered, the people are still living in “hope”.
From every window one enjoyed a different angle of the beautiful scenery that spreading over the city of York in the far distance, and from the undulated green hills of The Dales crossing over the high moor of tall grass and heather, such an idyllic landscape.
I am fortunate to be invited to stay at Upsall Castle for a few days and today I was driven to the edge around Yorkshire Dales, visiting Bolton Castle, a spectacular medieval fortress with a fascinating history where Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned in 1568. I hope you still enjoy wandering with me.
“… I wander tho’ each charter’d street, near where the charter’d Thames does flow…” (William Blake)
Come wander with me through the last three days in London. Through city streets, parks and bridges that always managed to stir such romantic nostalgia in one’s heart…
“… Roses, roses! Penny a bunch! they tell you, ruddy blooms of corruption, see you and smell you. Born of stale earth, fallowed with squalor and tears – North shire, south shire, none are like these, I tell you, roses of London perfumed with a thousand years…” (Willa Sibert Cather)
“… Earth has nothing to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by. A sight so touching in its majesty: This city now doth, like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning…” (William Wordsworth 1802)
“… Twenty bridges from Tower to Kew – Wanted to know what the river knew – Twenty bridges and twenty-two. For they were young, and the Thames was old… “
“… Saint Paul’s Cathedral is the finest building that ever I did see; there’s nothing can be surpassed it in the city of Dundee, because it’s most magnificent to behold. With its beauty dome and spire glittering like gold…. Oh mighty city of London! You are wonderful to see. And thy beauties no doubt fill the tourist’s heart with glee…” (William McGonagall)
A little potted seedling of Thyme would cost almost $3.00 from a market stall down in Chelsea shop. It was nurtured, watered and cared for outside the front fence, growing slowly but healthily, I was hoping to see it turning bushier for a sort of ground-cover which passer-by can pick up a sprig or two for their stew pot.
One morning it disappeared! The hole where the soil formed a round shape of the plant was there but the little Thyme bush has gone. Some thief had come in the night and stole my lovely green lemon Thyme!
I don’t need any sleuth to tell me that the culprit must be a super nose-sensitive woman; a common man would not be able to smell it unless if he is one of those TV chefs talk with a French accent.
Standing at the crime scene with my magnifying glass, studying the surrounding, searching for some glue. The street was almost deserted, in an atmosphere void of any human footsteps being taken for a walk by their dogs except for parked cars lining the kerb.
My assistant, Dr Watson, Hastings, Miss Lemon brought up a theory that it must be a woman and that she must have come from the left side, which is the end of the street, walking toward the beach passing my house and on her way back.
She must have smelled the Thyme bush, then waited until nightfall, came out to do the job. Miss Lemon concluded: the woman must be a resident in one of those units toward the end of my street. Perhaps I should walk by to nose around and see if I could detect roasted lemon Thyme.
“Sergeant” Adam was told, from the iPhone he asked: “What happened to the CCTV?” Well, it has never worked, and the solar sensor light had stopped working altogether, because the sun may have moved since we entered halfway through autumn? He assured me that he would drop by to check it all out. Which means he will want a wholesome tasty dinner afterwards, preferably “lemon thyme marinated chicken”.
It is an odious crime; in the olden day the woman would have been shipped to Australia (?) as a convict. Today, one could only hope that her dinner will somehow always have a certain bitter taste from the revenge of the stolen Thyme.
This book was weaved from forty ties, forty ties out of almost a hundred ties! They came from almost a lifetime in which I had my share that is from 1968 until 2015 and that covered almost my entire life.
After a long and hard juggling trying to save them, the forty ties were cut so the artist could weave without too much difficulty to bind the book cover. To quote a phrase: “…and so the ties were cut!”
“Only ever with you, I love to have and hold into the circle of your arms, I’ll unfold; into your blue eyes’ greeting shine, my gold; only ever with you, I yearn to grow old…
Only ever with you I can write rhymes as such, for you bring my muse from dust to dash, to hush. Only ever with you my being wants to attach, as first step already taken to our primrose path.
Stars and moon may leave the dark skies yet, one look at the gleam of your blue eyes day and night, I see the rising sunrise. Only ever with you, I will dive to lows or heights.
For only ever with you, I’ll plunge to infinity. Prayers plea asking blessing from divinity, to tie two hearts and two souls in sole unity. Mindless to whatever is there in humanity.”
(A poem by Olive Eloisa Guillermo)
One could not help but feeling some regret to finally cut the ties, but in order to be free and move on with living it is necessary, only to have the comfort that I am blessed with the memories to treasure while I am getting ready for my journey onto a new path.