Home » Uncategorized » There is hope (and a skip) and perhaps a jump?

There is hope (and a skip) and perhaps a jump?

One week on and apart from strange sensations in my right knee (no idea what is going on there, something is the matter by darn if I know what) I seemed t have survived the marathon experience. A lovely week up in the Tees valley helped, and I even managed to survive the spiral staircase in Scargill castle, although jokes about my wife being able to hear me coming from the plaintive moans of “ow” “ow” “ow” as I made my way up and down them is entirely true. Also, clambering over stiles is much harder when a most of your leg muscles and joints don’t really want to be flexible.
But it was still great to get out walking and away from crowds and just be in (admittedly windswept) countryside. All sorts of little revelations and memories…. I had expected to relive nostalgia of High and Low force waterfalls but had not figured on walking through the largest forest of dwarf juniper bushes in the UK. We saw so many lapwings, curlews, oystercatchers and snipes that at times it felt more like the seaside than the Durham dales. Standing up on the moors allowed you to just stop and listen to its many voices; the ever present wind of course, but the pheasants and black grouse, all distinctly vocal overlaid with the melody of the larks and a particularly strident Hen Harrier.
For me though the most fun moment was stooping for a drink of water and watching a stoat saunter out of a bush a few feet away and then go down a grassy bank out of our sight, and then watching in amazement as it came out again in the open, bumbled around completely unconcerned and then wandered off again. Of course we were upwind, so it could not smell us, but even so, a very special moment.
Thankfully it is not just the lovely wife and I that seem to have those moments. This weekend and back in St Albans we were walking in Verulamium Park and were accosted by a little girl, maybe six, pointing out to us in a typically excited way that “it’s a real bunny!!!”
Indeed it was, one of this year’s new arrivals, happily munching grass about a foot the overly excited poppet. In the park they are about as tame as they can be without actually eating out of your hand, but that doesn’t matter when you are six (and probably have frustrated desires for a bunny/puppy/kitten/penguin of your own).
What was lovely was not the cute little alien vermin (goodness, we had seen enough of those in the last week – and don’t get me going on the overdose of cute lambs I’ve recently suffered, although they are really cute when they are so tiny, if it wasn’t for all the diseases they carry) but just the joyous reaction and the need to share it with complete strangers that might be passing. Really marvellous and kept me smiling for sometime… In fact bunny girl should get together with the other precocious young female we passed a little later who we overheard asking her responsible adult “why does it do that?” in relation to a busking swan on the lake. True scientist in the making that one, observation and the subsequent quest to understand and I had to stop myself from unleashing my natural lecturer to interrupt and explain on the grounds I would probably be arrested for molesting the child with actual useful knowledge.
The enthusiasm for things seems to get crushed out of so many of us so quickly. How many people over the age of six have you seen skipping down the road? And yet when you are that age it seems impossible not to skip (and/or run headlong with no thought of the consequences). I have, to be fair, seen some dad’s engaging in a bit of furtive skipping with their daughters, but will they skip without a small pink thing attached to their arm? No, I don’t think they will be seen doing that.
Which is a bit of a shame really as the world would be a happier place if we skipped more, and were prepared to share our excitement of yet another bunny with passing strangers.


One thought on “There is hope (and a skip) and perhaps a jump?

  1. Penguin! I WANT A PENGUIN!

    And yes, I happily run down the road with happy abandon like a 6 year old. But that’s because of my emotional age being that of a 6 year old!


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