When I Walk
Over the past couple of weeks, or probably months as I have seemingly lost track of time now, I have taken to the humbled activity of walking. Partially as it is a great way to exercise relatively calmly, secondly to try to ease some of the boredom that peers into my life every so often and lastly to subdue my insatiable appetite for “doing things”. I have always been fascinated with the world and by that, yes I mean THE WORLD, as in every part of it; the vast concrete mega-structures such as New York make my brain melt into a philosophical goo just as easily as the erosion of a pebble. So where am I going with this? While walking I always take photographs along the way (yet another passion of mine) and I catch some pretty interesting things – however I never seem to catch the moments which I talk about the most, so I figured that it would be best to write them down and so forth comes the creation of this article.
About two days ago now I set out to go and photograph the bay where I live while the sun was shining – something which happens not too often in this country it seems. Unbeknown to me at the time, my original 30 minute stroll would soon turn into a 5 hour trek which would rival the Lord of The Rings saga itself.
With my bag bursting at the seems with Nature Valley Oat bars, a camera and umbrella (blue skies can never be trusted) I set out on my journey into the great known following a path not only my ancestors may have taken but a faeces ridden public footpath I myself had scaled several times before. I stopped at various points along the way to gaze at the view and take some pictures of its glory, toggling around with the various settings that a new camera has to offer as I went. After only about 15 minutes into my trip an elderly man crossed my path, quite literally, just as I had finished setting up the manual options for a perfect shot of the bay. Seeing my patience and unclear look of frustration he obviously could tell that I was waiting for the perfect shot and he promptly started a conversation with me about photography. I won’t list all of the dialogue here, partially because I can’t really remember it all and jointly due to the fact that it wasn’t something anybody would probably be that interested in reading. Around 20 minutes passed and the man finally left and said goodbye after telling me how he used to be a photographer 40 years ago. The meeting made me smile to myself thinking that I must have had an approachable aura around me for a random person to hold a conversation with me for 20 minutes or so. Ego in check I bounded on my way up the hill.
After some more walking… and more walking… and more walking I reached a small trail in the middle of dense woodland when out of nowhere a dog came rushing towards me with a menacing look in its eye. At this point I will take the time to say that I am not scared of dogs – this probably stems from the bizarre idea I have in my mind that I would be able to “beat” a dog in a fight (see dwarf fighitn pitbull)… although this was no ordinary dog. From what I recall during my life it was easily within the top 5 biggest dogs I have ever seen in my years. Lifting my camera up into the air to avoid the beast scratching the camera lens when the massive Dane inevitably jumped at me only seem to make it more crazed as it jumped up lashing about trying to get the camera, after I lifted my other arm in the air it continued to “bite” my arm but in a playful manner at which point the owner, another elderly man, came running towards me out of nowhere screaming apologies at me and shouting at his hound. After this I told him it was no problem and went on my way – continuing up the trail with a new burst of adrenaline and feeling that I had conquered the universe.
I had a pretty uneventful trip from here on in apart from taking this picture which left me with a sad feeling that washed over my mind. The flowers had clearly been left in remembrance of a woman who had died on valentines day and both the ailing flowers and beauty of the day seemed too much of an opportunity to pass up – resulting in this picture.
Later that day as I walked back home I saw what was quite possibly and rather ashamedly the highlight of my trip. A drunken man staggering around on the street with only a bag in hand proceeded to lay flat on the floor sticking his ear to the ground for a good 10 seconds or so before getting back up, walking another 10 meters and then repeating the process. I can only begin to imagine what he was listening for but it made me happy to see that in his own little world he was obviously quite content with something… either that or terrified out of his mind after watching the movie Tremors.
I arrived home approximately 5 hours and 10 minutes after I had set out on my journey, I don’t know the exact amount of calories I burned during this time but I am confident that it was enough to hold off the enormous Tikka Masala I had just eaten an hour before. Thus concludes my journey of one of the more eventful walks I have gone on in the past couple of weeks.