The joys of walking are many and various, walking with a chum is recommended, though walking alone can sometimes have it’s moments too.
Today I set out early with my chum Robin. We were expecting hot weather so the early start was a must, and it was perfect. A walk in Paradise, as it really is called, just outside Painswick. Cotswold landscape at its very best. There used to be a bus stop there but it seems to have been dispensed with. Take a look here for a previous visit: Jesus drives a Porsche in Paradise.
Walking and talking we got into things political and I expressed some doubts about our rulers, whereupon Robin came up with the quote of the day: “Anyone wanting that job should not be allowed to do it” he said and I tend to agree. Thrusting ambition and naked greed for power seem to most of us to be unsuitable attributes to be a leader of the nation. But what do we know?
The subject was quickly dispensed with as we got on with worthier ones. We came across these horses. Now I’m not a big fan of horses as they can step on you and bite, but these chaps were not in the mood for anything but a curious bit of tail waving and strolling. At “3 o’clock” ( fighter pilot parlance I believe ) in the image you might glance another demon, looks like it might be a flying insect ready for breakfast. Scamble! Scramble!
Down in the valley where we kept cool, we took a break for a stare and a minor rendition from Robin, who’s a fine folk singer. Here he is backed by various birds whilst we take in a quick drying hay field. He and his fellow singers, known collectively as the Gloucester Diamonds have recently put together a cd of some lovely songs. Find out more right here: The Gloucester Diamonds
The walk ended in Painswick where we found a super little coffee shop after passing this chap mowing the bowling green for no apparent reason. I suspect that he would not gather more than a handful of clippings from the entire area. He had markers to guide where he’s been! It was like giving a completely bald bloke a haircut with a pair of electric clippers. We expected him to come out afterward and get the steam iron out on it. Now here’s a bloke who might make a good prime minister.
Thanks goodness for the filter that weeds out those emails from companies trying to sell you stuff. One this morning from National Express, the UK coach people, who think I might want to go to Glastonbury. No doubt to have a weekend camping in mud whilst listening to very average music.
These emails are like being accosted and interupted in a bus station by someone trying to sell you a genuine gold chain. The seller seems a bit dodgy, if he says the chain is genuine gold it’s not, and it’s likely to be stolen. The guy reeks of alchohol and it’s only 9.30 in the morning. The normal thing to do is not to engage in conversation.
He was reputed to have made the most tedious films ever, I’ve been fortunate to miss them, but here’s my own contribution to the ‘cannon’. Off we went for a good old country walk into the village at the top of the hill that’s a good deal colder than around here, but is also blessed with some wonderful cotswold stone walls. The village itself is ‘owned’ by one estate so all the cottages there are in the same style and painted in the ‘estate’ colours.The entire village is in the ownership of this estate so you can’t buy anywhere there, all the houses and cottages are let out by the estate and the result is somewhere that is in many ways unique. It means that there are no ghastly additions and the place looks not unlike a film set for Mid-Summer Murders.
The owners were responsible for getting most of the population in this country smoking cigarettes, so their fortune is based on a habit that has been a curse on many. I could comment but perhaps best not to. Let’s put that aside for the stone walls. All beautifully maintained and in the sunshine they are a thing of beauty, a major work of art to me, with the litchen gripping here and there and the colours glowing in the sun.
My latest blockbuster
There’s a real skill in the building of these walls and , unlike in the top photo, where the wall has been ‘capped’ by concrete, the really ‘pure’ builders never do this and the walls simply have the stones on the top without any ‘glue’. The old litchen one in the lane image gives a better idea on how they used to be finished off. There’s apparently a way of laying the stones so that the water drains through so that the stones won’t frost, and therefore last for years.
You might reasonably wonder where are the cartoons? Well I have been busy drawing and keeping my resolution of last year to do a drawing a day. So they will be back!
Combe is from the latin for dung and in this instance pitchcombe is the word used for the hurling of dung. In particular cow dung that has dried enough for it to be successfully lifted as a complete circle and then thrown. It is thought that Pitchombe preceded Frisbee as a marketing name, but has since fallen out of common parlance.
Another of my nonsensical meaning for Gloucestershire place names which I’m hoping to publish quite soon in a book entitled “Glossary”, its going to be quite a small book!
Pitchcombe is in actual fact on a hill overlooking Stroud and a very pretty place too. Worth a visit but look out for frisbees, especially the low flying ones.
The walk of a tourist who does not undertsand what he/she should be doing, or seeing, or indeed why they are where they are at all. Involves walking slowly in one direction and then in another random direction, even the person doing the walking does not understand exactly why or in which direction they might be going. The presence of vehicles makes this a dangerous activity and can result in a split bibury which is where the group is bisected by traffic and can induce panic amongst the assembly. It’s all a sorry sight. Pity them. Common in the Cotswolds.
Japanese avoid this by having someone with a flag leading them which is somewhat sinister. Anyone leading with a flag is sinister don’t you think?
Continuing my theme of true meanings of Gloucestershire place names this is one I have witnessed in many parts of the Cotswolds. Bibury is in fact one of the county’s prettiest villages and attracts many tourists, shame that the spellchecker turns it into bribery.
My book on the subject is in the final stages and I’ll let you know when completed so that you can fund my pathetic lifestyle.
A day trip to London to see friends I was at college with back when everything was in black and white. Armed with my handy coach card all aboard the National Express to Victoria. Express? Well it would be if it was n’t for traffic, oodles of it jamming the last couple of miles.
On the way back noticed this little thing on the side of a bus, I wonder if the media planners knew that the fuel tap would be in the middle of their lovely image of the fish in Thailand.
And then there’s this enormous horses head that someone left at Marble Arch.
So it’s back for a bank holiday weekend and a chance to get out into the countryside, and here’s a real creature, a real cotswold sheep! Fine beast and very friendly. Walked in an area where you can see no human habitation and the where there’s no sound of traffic, even on a day when it’s not as bright as of late,it’s a joy. A small glimpse of the sun and the areas true green shines out, could be an image from a 100 years ago.
A glimpse of colour on the ground, the remains of a bird’s egg. Stunning colour. I looked it up in a bird’s egg recognition site and it would appear to be a starling’s egg, but I’m not sure myself.