The Snipe

Whereas I used to be the undisputed Jedi Master of not doing much at all, these days (despite probably needing to rest a little more occasionally) I can’t stop myself from endlessly moving from A to B.

It’s definitely an addiction now. I can’t do without it. I get really fidgety if I’m not outdoors when I have spare time.

I honestly feel like I’m cheating myself if I relax – and despite spending a lot of yesterday feeling a bit off colour it didn’t really dissuade me from still clocking up the miles, and I finished on 9.5 and almost completed my 20,000 steps.

When I awoke this morning at 6.30 my first thought (apart from wondering which herd of buffalo had been farting in my room all night) was to check the weather.

The forecast wasn’t good. Rain from midday onwards and some of it quite heavy.

Day ruined?

Hell no!

That’s just a set of circumstances that you find yourself having to take hold of events quicker than usual. I hopped in the shower, got changed, put some waterproofs and an emergency coffee in my rucksack and around an hour later headed out.

I’d consciously taken my cue from a bird from yesterday’s walk that never made the cut in my blog last night – who I’ve nicknamed ‘The Snipe’ after Kevin the bird in Pixar’s ‘UP!’

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This was actually a female pheasant (link) who was (like my companion and I) was making its way along a footpath with dense borders on either side – but rather than take flight to avoid us it was perpetually running away from my companion and myself – and forever on the horizon, just out of zoom range from my camera and showing little more than tail feathers.

Finally we turned into a quarry and it made it’s escape on open ground, running with gusto for the security of a distant hedge.

I liked it’s style though.

I bet it really wasn’t sure why it was running – as there was nothing threatening about our behaviour – but nevertheless it was doing what nature intended it to do – and seemed happy enough.

I feel the same a lot of the time and I certainly did this morning. Despite still feeling slightly peeky (this is the correct spelling in Daveyland by the way for those who queried my choice yesterday. PEAKY is my hat – which is an easy mistake to make) I resolved to just get up and see where co-incidence took me.

Initially I thought I might go further afield than usual – but as I arrived at the train station the one I had planned to catch was just pulling away – with a two hour wait for the next one.

Plan B.

Stalking birds.

Although the weather was due to be awful later – by this point it was still quite nice – and there was even an occasional warm ray of sunshine.

This meant that when quite by chance when a Heron popped up from the river next to the bench I was sitting on in the park I got almost the perfect photo opportunity.

 

After a short while edging ever closer he/she finally sensed me getting too near and took off. After watching him gracefully re-locate I gathered my things together and checked my texts.

Ooooh! A coffee opportunity two miles away with my brother!

I slung my pack over my back, swigged the last of my drink and headed into town.

Along the way everything seemed quiet and green this morning – with next to no people at all down by the river.

There are usually lots of dog walkers and families passing through here and I’ve rarely stood by any of the bridges along the way without someone crunching along the gravel behind or in front of me.

Today though it was just me and pigeons – which for some reason made me stop and examine the rusty panels that I’ve blindly walked under many times before. They seemed strangely alluring in the light today and the greens all around me seem to be pulling the autumnal colours out of the metal.

I wonder how this will look when the leaves start to turn orange? I’ll have to come back and check in a few weeks!

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Within another 20 minutes I was in town and drinking my second coffee of the day – and chatting to my brother. I unzipped my bag when (picking up a menu) he asked if I was also eating breakfast in the cafe.

‘Breakfast is free today!’ I said as I showed him the apples in my rucksack.

This may seem rather cheap of me – but on my way into town there’s a really kind home owner that clearly has a lot of apple trees – and they leave their surplus fruit on the garden wall for people to take.

This morning I’d grabbed a few as I passed by and they tasted delicious!

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My brother laughed. I think he’s used to my penny pinching lately.

In contrast he’s got a shiny new toy and I couldn’t help but admire it’s heft.

It’s a chunky metal Android Wear smartwatch that wouldn’t look out of place on James Bond’s wrist. If weight is an indicator of quality then it’s definitely well made – and I began to wonder as I held it whether I preferred the square (which is maybe slightly nerdy now) Apple Watch face, or the classic appeal of a wearable with a circular face that actually looks like a real watch.

I’ve been thinking lately about Fitbits – not with a view to buying anything (with my non existent money) but just considering what I would do if my little friend suddenly died.

I doubt I would want to do without a fitness stat tracker anymore (it’s driven a huge amount of positive change in my behaviours) but now that my chief consideration is cost my choices would probably be very different if I had to make them again.

Despite me not liking the look of Fitbits I can’t deny that they do a very good job of their intended purpose, plus their phone application is superb – and way better than Apple’s own (IMHO).

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The latest Fitbit Iconic (link) however seems very highly priced (£299!) and even uglier and more plasticky than its predecessor, despite being loaded with really useful features…

My brother and I (and his wife) agreed that this soon to be launched Fitbit was designed for Shrek, said our goodbyes and headed off to enjoy the rest of Sunday – which by now was going to be pretty damp.

It had started to rain while we discussed watches, but despite this I pulled up my hood and carried on in the opposite direction to home. I’d only done five miles. There was more to accomplish.

Sadly there was little to tickle my fancy once the rain started – and I really did look for things to do! Everything appeared to be closing or had failed to open at all today,

Everywhere seemed empty of life and people.

I took shelter for a little while in another park. As I munched on an apple I watched some geese – who unlike me were total gluttons for punishment and had chosen (in the increasingly inclement weather) to stand on the edge of a fountain in the middle of a pond.

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They appeared to be really enjoying the soaking!

However – despite the day driving me slowly back under cover or indoors as I type at home I’ve done exactly 10.5 miles, meaning that my beloved average is intact and I have 20 miles and 40,000 steps completed for the weekend.

(Author’s borderline OCD breathes a silent sigh of relief)

I came home and cooked a rather lovely (even if I do say so myself) dinner that was fully on plan and then made myself a syn free frozen berry and yogurt dessert – so although it’s been a scrappy day I think it’s still been a success.

I didn’t spend it slumped on the sofa – which is always a win.

I think overall I did the snipe proud.

In other (possibly irrelevant) news I turned the heating on today for the first time in months and then put some fleecy jogging bottoms and a thick jumper on.

I never used to get cold, but the more weight I lose the more I notice it.

It’s weird – but also kind of brilliant!

Davey


3 thoughts on “The Snipe

  1. Uh oh, we’ve got some serious heron jealousy rearing its ugly head! I’ve got a movie appointment with the family so I don’t have time to blog this evening but at some point I will counter your heron with my own swanling (the first I’ve seen since I started reading your blog) an underwater coot and some tufted ducks.

    I’m loving the arty rust shots. I love a bit of rust personally, and I’m sure that will indeed look awesome once autumn really gets underway 👍

    Liked by 1 person

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