The month of October ended with a weeks holiday: No canoes; no mountains; no caves. Instead we took a road trip heading in a generally southerly direction: visiting family, relaxing and enjoying life. Despite not venturing into some of the country's recognised "outdoorsy" areas we were keen to keep at least an outside theme to everything we did, this was helped tremendously by temperatures never falling below the high teens and on two days topping twenty degrees and all at the end of October!
The forests at Delamere, in all their autumnal, splendour provided a pleasant afternoons walk, I'd never visited the Hatchmere and Blakemere Moss side of the road before. My Mum & Dad enjoyed being out there immensely as we gathered "stuff" from the forest floor - the pine cones oozing with resin were a real highlight of the foraging.
Cambridgeshire's leafy lanes provided a similar environment for relaxed family time with my eldest daughters & grandchildren - all good fun. The running shoes even came back out again for the Lode 5k with son-in-law & six year old grandson, unfortunately it did rain on race day!
Friday saw the antithesis of our normal existence, a day in the capital, which in many ways prompted this post. It was, in fact, a most enjoyable day with many highlights not least the poppies at the Tower of London. However, the abiding memories are of: jam packed tube trains; a surging tide of people on Oxford Street; grid locked streets with blaring car horns and an endless soundtrack of sirens. Person upon person with smart phone in hand, plugged into headset and jostling for the same square metre of pavement but with minimal eye contact and even less verbal communication between one another. Sobering, thought provoking.
Heading into a "busy" November there will indeed, weather permitting, be mountains & caves but there will also be much time spent in canoes and on occasion it will be an absolute pleasure to journey in these craft on lakes & rivers using them in their purest form to connect with the created environment around us. To coin a recent phrase: Canadian canoe journeys are always special; they have a unique ability to purge the spirit of the unwanted static that accumulates in our technological lives"
Looking forward to it!