There has to be a place where you can retreat in comfort and experience peace, tranquility and a pace of life that is not performed at the speed of sound.
Traveling has to be at such a pace these days that even a quiet drive in country is achieved at motorway speeds. A walk in the dales, on a hill-top or a valley can be fraught by the sonic boom of the swooping aircraft practicing their military manoeuvres and if you believe a walk along the sea-shore would be any better, do not be surprised while walking around the Wash in Lincolnshire you encounter jet formations looping the loop.
Some people believe that the only place to seek peace is within the precincts of the cloistered temples of middle England. I hate to be a Job’s comforter but be prepared at some point in time as was our experience the other day while seeking sanctuary from the mayhem of the A1 road network, that the parish priest has called in the builders and you cannot get near the altar for wheelbarrows, lifted rotten floor timbers and mugs of tea and the clamour of hammering is hardly an aid to inner peace and penitence.
This only leaves one place for retreat, beneath the duvet at night. Don’t count on it as the cat snores and dreams of mouse manoeuvres.
St Kyneburgha, Castor, Cambridgeshire,
I keep keep getting asked or to be to be precise my good lady wife keeps getting asked, “has your husband taken up golf”. It is not that I have shown any inclination to explore the environs of old Tom Morris although we are very found of St Andrews. Is it that Golf is considered a suitable occupation for a gentleman at this stage of retirement that prefers reading to gardening and therefore needs some encouragement to undertake exercise?
I could take up jogging, stepping into shorts and trainers but I am afraid I do not have the constitution never mind the physical development for shorts or the desire to make a spectacle of myself in the hedonistic pursuit of remaining young.
If my goal was to gain enternal youth I would seek out an artist by the name of Basil and have my portrait painted. To my way of thinking it would be much more to my preference than ruining a good walk with a Niblick or damaging my knees not to mention my ear drums as I believe it is compulsory to listen to the I Pod will pounding the pavement.
St. Brides, Traquair Kirk, Scottish Borders, Scotland,
Normally I would dismiss any suggestion or even the slightest hint of Nostalgia as it is tends to coat the past in a warm pinkish glow, it strengthens the view that childhood was the best years of our lives and neglects to remember the scraped knees and elbows, not to mention the internal injuries we all sustain in the course of reaching our angst teenage years.
Now what has caused all this you may ask, it is the fact that I have been reading Boswell’s Edinburgh Journal, although it was written during the Scottish enlightenment, the names and places are so recognizable that it brings back faint memories of a past life. I may hasten to add to those who have read the Great Biographers Journal that it is only the place and not the life style that is familiar but I am sure that goes without saying, if we compare today with our past we soon discover that there is an enormous chasm and what we remember are shadows and ghosts of a different age.
Although the past cannot be recreated, it is still a pleasant place to spend quality time in the minds eye and consequently I have added to the reading list, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh Picturesque Notes to eventually add to the crammed full bookshelves.
View From Talla Reservoir, Tweedsmuir The Scottish Borders, Scotland
I have not been counting the days or the months since I last tried to perform the art of blogging, not that I have been living for the moment which in itself is a laudable philosophy but have been trying to render our bookshelves obsolete or should I say traversing in the realms of gold.
I am discovering that I am still a mere amateur when it comes to clearing space as there seems to be more books and authors crying out for attention than when I began, Scott, Hogg, Byron and Radcliff to mention a few, maybe I should at this point also list Homer as I have quoted or should it be misquoted from Keats, but as this is a truthful account I cannot honestly say that Homer has ever been on my reading list, well not at present.
Now perhaps that is where I am going wrong as there are more books on my reading list as there are on our bookshelves, so once I have completed another tome it only makes room for a further purchase to reduce the reading list so it all becomes self perpetuating or maybe the basis for a thesis on the benefits of public libraries.
The Picture Shows:
The spire of the beautiful 13th century church of St Mary’s Bluntisham. The literary connection is that Dorothy L Sayers creator of the
Lord Peter Wimsey Father was Rector.