10/04/2020 Lockdown Walk
I stopped work on 21st February to change to a “Zero Hour”contract at Bristol International Airport, with a view to starting the new contract on 21st March, of course we know what happened in between those two dates, so I have been off for 7 weeks. I was Self-Isolating long before the Government decided on this partial Lockdown that we are now in. So I haven’t really been out in 4-5 weeks. I have lost track of all time, and I haven’t worn my watch in all that time. But have been productive with The Sunday Hour and Zwift Indoor Cycle Training, so my time is being well spent. Living on one’s own of course is difficult in terms of family, my daughter’s family live in Weston super Mare, some 18 miles away, so am unable to see them. Face Time, Zoom, Whatsapp and Messenger Video all works very well, and we do this every day, sometimes twice, but its not the same, cant touch, smell, hug etc, BUT we have to do what we are told, It will save lives and it will slow down the spread.
So having spent nearly all that time at home today was the time to venture out and get some fresh air and exercise (Zwift indoor cycling is good) feel the breeze and the warmth of the Sun. It was a glorious day with the temperature around 26 degrees (the record for April is around 27.8 I believe)
I live in Wells, Somerset (UK) a beautiful city, the smallest City in England, with a magnificent Cathedral, in the Diocese Bath & Wells The Bishop of Bath & Wells Bishop Peter resides at the The Bishops Palace
Heading out from my home, wearing my mask, wondering if I would have to navigate any crowds of people I was pleasantly surprised, walking past the rear of Lidl and up to the main road there was no one, not a soul. The road was quiet, empty and even crossing the main Glastonbury road there was no one to be seen and no traffic at all. Walking up through Southover to Silver Street and up to the Bishops Palace Moat, I saw a couple with their dog and a lady jogger getting exercise. We greeted each other with “Hello” ….. On a normal Bank Holiday there would have been thousands of people all over Wells, It is a very popular tourist destination and even locals flock to Wells. We have a pair of swans on the moat sitting on eggs, and I stood and watched them for a few minutes, before heading along the path to Dulcote.
The breeze blowing across the fields as I walked along the path was very welcome as the heat from the sun was beginning to penetrate my lightweight sweater. There were Heifers grazing in the field so I stopped to have a chat :-) Being out and enjoying the warm sunshine, and being able to stop and enjoy the animals really was such a bonus after spending so much time at home. (Mask removed) God’s creatures grazing on God’s land in the shadow of the magnificent Wells Cathedral, was an experience, to savour.
Heading further along the Dulcote footpath and then walking across the fields towards the farmers machinery and the water tough’s, the sun was now getting very warm, with clear blue skies, the birds singing and the animals, feeding on the land. God provides all this in abundance, on days of rain and storms and days like today warm and still.
Its amazing that we have this on our doorstep, many many people in the world live in such desolate, hostile conditions, we MUST be thankful, praise God, not only for what we have but also to help the many millions who have not…….
As I approach Park Wood, I can “smell” the change in the air, a mixture dewey wood and flower fragrance, it feels like walking with Pooh Bear and Piglet into Hundred Acre Wood, in anticipation of what will be discovered. I have lived in Wells and never been into Park Wood, often walk the fields and paths but somehow never been in.
Going through the gate I am greeted by this magical undiscovered world, the smell, the flowers, the differing shades of colour and the sunlight breaking through the tree branches. I really can imagine walking through here with Pooh and Piglet. I walk along the well trodden path, taking in the smell and wondering how many thousands, no, hundreds of thousands of people have trodden this path over the hundreds of years gone b. I am drifting back in time, and I may be imagining in but I am sure I can smell a trace of soot and steam! Park Wood is right next to the old Cheddar Valley Railway – Strawberry Line closed many many years ago, but I am sure there is that distictive smell here.
There was not a soul to be seen, and following the track as it winds through the wood I felt that I needed to get off the track and be amongst the trees and feel what it would have been like in distant years gone by, the ground underneath foot was soft and “crunchy” with the broken twigs under the newly grown plant life. What a magical place walking amongst the trees, and I promised myself I would come back here when it was stormy and raining to experience it another way.
I had reached the Old Strawberry Line footpath that runs through Wells and headed back in a loop around to the fields again. Approaching the Cathedral and Bishops Palace the sun is streaming warmth down onto the earth, and the Cathedral in its splendour is in the distance
I have seen few people today, so its a testimony to everyone that we are here doing what we need to do to keep this terrible virus at bay and slow down its progress.
I make my way along the moat and through the arch into the Market Square, I see two people and we keep our distance but bid “Good morning” It is almost surreal to be in such a busy market City and yet see no one.
Being able to see the Town Hall in all its glory, it is a beautiful building, the architecture….. and used in so many movies and TV Series, one that is close to everyone in Wells is of course “Poldark” where the building was the “Warleggan Bank” Moving past “The Crown” location for the movie “Hot Fuzz” and out of the Market Square to join the High Street. Water flows down either side of the road in channels. The Water drains from the fountain in the Market Square
Apart from a few parked cars the High Street is also eerily quiet, all shops are closed except for Boots the Chemist, staff there looking after the people of Wells in need, the community spirit is alive in Wells. Nearing the end of my walk I pass by St Cuthbert’s Church, the water slowly flowing down through channel.
As I walk on to my home, I can reflect on my walk, appreciating the City that I live in and the surrounding areas that we can walk and enjoy at leisure. We are privileged to be able to experience the beauty of this great City. Thank you
Since writing this blog I have been told that a very dear friend sadly passed away in Musgrove Hospital, Taunton.
I would like to dedicate this blog to Gary Murphy, dear friend, brother, son, uncle, my thoughts go out to his family, especially his sister Beckie who has kindly kept all his friends up to date with his illness and sad passing away overnight
Psalm 23 – A Psalm of David
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
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