a whimsical interlude...
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
a moment sheltered from thoughts of winter....
Sunday, September 20, 2009
two short, cheap and painless bus rides and i'm in the countryside on the other side of the pie of norwich, in caistor st. edmond. why? because it was the next walk in my beloved tour book after norwich city; also, because i could get there without a car. good enough reasons for me, apparently!
caistor st. edmond is the site of a purported roman ruin. in fact, the visit to the site was about as conceptual as staying home and reading a history book! [though the day was perfect and all is forgiven] let me illustrate:
through a parking lot, up some stairs, down a path---you walk, basically, on top of the old roman town wall. this is your view:
every once in a while, some signage fills in the literal blanks of what you would have seen, had you been there 1500 yrs ago:
get the picture? here is another trans-temporal superimposition:
here's the wall as of yesterday, complete with landscaping sheep:
cut way back to 'our favorite philistines' creating our present...
anyway...i duly completed walking the square mile and pulled out my trusty guide book to map out the rest of my day on foot. once i realized that the writers were planning on having me walk considerable distance on the main road, without sidewalk nor shoulder, in the nettles and thistle, i zipped up the book in a deep, not-very-accessible pocket of my bag.
like so many travel moments, in peak despair, i looked up across the road to find this awaiting me:
a wonderfully marked, off-road, public footpath circuit of about 6mi. around a farm! why hadn't the authors noticed this option for walkers?! so, off i set to finish a couple of hours later with a nice half-pint of abbot's ale in the local 16th century hotel bar...cheers!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
'derive': situationist french for, 'wandering' especially around a city with the hopes of getting lost in order to find something you haven't seen before...
we've had lovely weather for the past few days! so, i went trekking around norwich [which is easy to do being that the medieval roads run in circles]...speaking of which, i was using a book called [falsely] '50 walks in norfolk', to guide me...i have to agree with this amazon review:
2.0 out of 5 stars 50 walks in norfolk, 15 Feb 2009
Ms. Kate E. Percival "lighthouse dreamer" (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews(REAL NAME) I am a fairly experienced walker and this book is dreadful. We have tried out 6 walks now in this book and every time we ended up making our own walk up. The directions are very unclear and I don't know if the walks have changed (although I have only just bought it!) but the directions do not correspond to the walk. The only thing positive thing I would say is that the book gives you a good idea of places to walk, especially as a newcomer to the area.
eventually i found my way with the help of some confused locals, an a-to-z map and a head full of steam...i was happiest, just like the above reviewer, when going my own way, which i've done twice now: in norwich and right outside the city...
this photo doesn't reflect the sentiment of most of the people i've met, strangers and otherwise---probably just some teens trying to be 'shocking'...i remember what it was like...
in contrast, a bus driver, once he found out where i was from, spent the entire 25 min. trip recounting all the thousnds of miles of touring he'd done around america----way more than 99% of all americans [including myself] have! pacific coast hwy, bryce canyon, grand canyon, yellowstone, colorado river...
so...ambling around norwich...having lost faith in the 'walk' book, i happened upon the medieval city wall peacefully coexisting with more modern construction:
pondering our own current creations from a longer view, how many modern building efforts will leave even this much of a trace 800 yrs hence? how potent a belief in eternity is [was]! free access to peasant labor surely didn't hurt either...
speaking of eternity and peasant labor, nothing weds them so well as a cathedral! here's a shot of norwich cathedral:
i started getting happy walking on the edenic grounds of the cathedral...towards the river wensum which runs around the city and was probably one of the main reasons for its existence...as james says, 'you could canoe to france on it if you wished...'
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
i've actually found the completion of various day-to-day chores quite grounding...i'm really feeling the necessity of work in my life----did my father just faint?! i've also found myself hesitant to open my mouth for fear of 'standing out' as an american...so far no one cares, though...
Monday, September 14, 2009
you heard me correctly: a shed made from bales of straw! see for yourself [above]. it was his 40th birthday present to himself. usually the straw is sealed over with plaster to prevent decay, but this shed has withstood the elements for 4 years without any damage.
behind the shed [as if it weren't enough] is a compost, rainwater harvesting and glass greenhouse area:
here's a closeup of the grape arbor which divides the garden in half:
an artsy shot of one of the frogs right after hatching...note to americans: a one pence coin is smaller than a us penny, almost dime-sized:
Sunday, September 13, 2009
only after a 20 min. interrogation was i allowed to enter england. perhaps the truth i told was too baffling: that i was there to soak in numerous neolithic sites. was i a scholar doing research? who was my sponsor? what did i do for a living, anyway? how much money did i have access to? was i planning to work? drive on the wrong [right] side of the road? pester british women with requests for kisses?
how grateful i am for my telepathic link with james; the immigration officer marched out to james on the inside of the border and asked him the same questions, to which he received the same answers. majority ruled and created truth. no longer was i alone and/or potentially insane! welcome! surprisingly, the guard claimed that, in his experience, no one had given as a reason to enter england, 'neolithic sites'...i say, 'shame...'
meet my three gracious hosts: james, juliette and holly the cat. they cleared a corner in the living room for me to live in...i thought the posters were a particularly nice touch...privacy, be gone! holly is allowing me to sleep in her bed for the moment...
early in the game, i know, but our freshly-minted family gets along well and hopefully will still by the end of 6 months' time. i hope i don't stink after 3 days [ah, too late, as this is my third] like poor richard's 'guests and fish'! we are going to attempt a weekly meeting to maintain this challenging living arrangement.