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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

A Walk to the Post Office

Walking in the countryside, when it has purpose and destination, feels like walking in the past. It reminds me Belgium, the country road between Hugo’s, my foreign language exchange partner, and Jean-Pierre’s, a friend’s language exchange. Or the walk along the river from my grandma’s house to my aunt’s smallholding in the village where they lived; and later too, when my aunt moved to a remote farm at the end of a long lane. My grandpa used the same paths to work in the paper mill, two miles there in the morning, two miles back at night. It can’t have been much fun in bad weather. And, when there was no work, it was three miles each way by fields and river bank to the next village to claim the dole, which was every day in the nineteen-thirties. People walked everywhere. No rush. No worry. Sun, wind, rain and birdsong, you got there in the end.

About a month ago, Sue My Quiet Life in Suffolk took her camera on A Walk to the Post Office. The walk to what is currently our nearest Post Office, provided it’s not too muddy, is two-miles of true joy. Last week, we had a parcel to send, so taking a lead from Sue, I took my camera...

across a playing field

up through the woods at the far side

across two fields to the secluded hamlet in the distance, this is the first field

and this is the second – all beginning to look very dry at this time of the year (this was before last week’s rain) – it was much more green and pleasant a few weeks ago before they cut the waist-high grass. Should have brought my camera then.

through the hamlet and along the drive


leaving by steps over the wall to cut diagonally across another field where the grass was also higher until recently

to walk a short way along a country road

which we leave by another stile to cross another field – uh uh! looks like trouble – Jersey calves. They run towards us – I think they want to play human football.

Phew! Not sure whether they are heifers or bullocks. Looking back, they think they have seen us off but with a bit of panicky shouting, clapping and arm waving we got through to where we wanted. That one in the front group on the right came running round from the back like Raheem Sterling

just one more field to cross

then up a steep hill 

as we gain height we can take in the views


just a short way to go now along a busy road
 

and we’re there

Oops. Forgot to take a picture of the ice creams. 
Went back by a different path to avoid the bullocks.

44 comments:

  1. Your walk to the Post Office is much more interesting than mine! and a lot further.

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    1. That depends on the definition of 'interesting', but I'd rather do yours than mine in bad weather.

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  2. That was quite a walk! I don't know if I would have the energy to walk all of the way back. Nice photo tour! Thanks!

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  3. The countryside in your walk to the P.O. reminds me of Belgium.
    I like the idea of being in one place, and thinking of another place.
    This is an acute experience for immigrants and expats.

    In the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer (admired by Ted Hughes) people are in New York or Florida, but thinking of Warsaw or their shtetl.
    The late Bharati Mukherjee was Indian, Canadian and Californian.
    In Glasgow I meet Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Russian, Bulgarians.

    I recommend a YouTube vlog, *Shaelin Writes*.
    This young woman from Vancouver has been on a writing course at college for a few years, and enjoys sharing experience.
    Haggerty

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    1. Oh! So I need to go on a writing course. Thanks.

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    2. John Le Carre met his wife at a party.
      When she told him she was a book editor he said, 'Maybe you can help me then, I have written a novel, but it's all in pieces.'
      She helped him assemble it like a jigsaw puzzle.

      Shaelin would make a great fiction editor, and she shares the stuff she learned at writing school, which must have cost her a lot of dough to acquire. She has no airs but lots of graces.

      Lillian Ross wrote a memoir of William Shawn, editor of the New Yorker, *Here But Not Here*.
      Shawn wanted to leave the magazine and strike out on his own as an author, but his stable of writers pleaded with him not to abandon them, that is how much they prized his editorial guidance.
      Haggerty

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  4. A beautiful walk and what a charming little post office!

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    1. It is and it is, but these little post offices are gradually closing as owners retire and few people want to take them on. They used to be viable businesses but the government has deregulated most of their activities and yet restricts them undertaking certainn others, which is putting an end to them.

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  5. Good job you don't suffer from hay fever.

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    1. I soon would if I had to walk there every day.

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  6. Looks like a nice long walk, in good weather anyway! I will no longer grumble when I have to walk the much shorter distance to my own post office. (Although post offices in general are becoming fewer and farther between, aren't they?)

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    1. As replied to Debra, above. It's a good weather walk. It gets very muddy and slippery in the wet, and I wouldn't want to fall in the middle of those cows.

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  7. I am quite exhausted after that long walk. Three cheers for the post office, my parcels always come on time.

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    1. It's easier if you aren't in a hurry. Yes, I prefer the PO, Royal Mail and Parcelforce to the independent lot. I am not in any way convinced it was to our advantage that the government opened up the market to private competition.

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  8. Ahhhh that colour. I think it is described as green. Just looking zt it feels fresh and cooler. Beautiful countryside you live in and ckearly charming villages.

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    1. There are lots of little furry creatures to chase through the fields, but also lots of bitey flies that leave you itchy and scratchy and in need of a visit to the vets for a cortisone jab.

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    2. Ive just noticed my secretary must have been intoxicated - appalling spelling mistakes.

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  9. I enjoyed that lovely walk! Your countryside is so beautiful. Even though I live in a small town, if I walk to the Post Office the scenery is all homes and businesses. If I had a choice I'd take your walk any day.

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    1. It's a very pleasant walk provided it's not raining and you are not in a hurry.

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  10. Our post office is nearly eight miles away - used to be one in our village, but like you say, many have now closed. I get it though - it was used very little and even less by the young.

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    1. Eight miles would put me off even going on the bike. Car it would have to be. The post offices could have been used to provide so many local and financial services, but no, they have been trashed in favour of the false gods of competition and shareholder dividends.

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  11. I was enjoying my walk with you until we reached that steep hill. That busy road looks like a nightmare to navigate.

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    1. Fortunaely the steep hill is not too long (although you do get a bit warm on a hot day) and the road there has wide footpaths.

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  12. Oh dear, those bovine teenagers would have sent me on a detour, no matter how long! Apart from that, though, it looks like a beautiful walk. I hope you had not forgotten the parcel at home, and the post office was not closed when you got there!
    My after-work walks are usually without any other purpose than to clear my head after a day at the computer and for, as Kate Humble puts it, the small joy of putting one foot in front of the other. Every now and then, though, I do have an errand to run and combine it with a walk.

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    1. Ha ha! The parcel was rather too big to forget (and carry) and we know the post office opening times. Everything under control sir!
      It is satisfying to have a reason for a long walk rather than mere 'rambling'.

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  13. What a lovely walk to the post office! Thanks for showing us the sights on the way. The jerseys probably thought you were going to feed them! next time you should tote along a bale of hay!

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    1. The parcel was nearly as big as a bale of hay.
      I think it's that Jerseys are especially boisterous at that age. Although this lot were a bit wary of our waving and shouting, they didn't back away much. I think Yorkshire Pudding wrote about a similar experience a few weeks ago when he was surrounded by such a group.

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  14. I'd just as soon not meet a bunch of playful cattle while I'm out walking! Barky dogs are enough. That's quite a walk you undertook. A destination walk feels satisfying, very self sufficient.

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    1. I understand that a farmer is acting illegally if cattle are a danger to people walking on public rights of way, so the assumption is that they are not dangerous. They had been de-horned but it would have been possible to fall and be trampled. That we felt sufficiently intimidated to return by a parallel path across a different field suggests that perhaps they should not have been there. The footpath is on the local authority definitive map.

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  15. That was quite a long walk. I got tired just reading about it. I wouldn’t want to do that just to go to the Post Office.

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    1. Actually, the real reason we went was for the ice cream, but they have to be earned. Posting the parcel was incidental.

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  16. Young Jersey cattle may look cute but if panicked they could easily trample a walker to death so I am pleased to learn that you sensibly avoided those beasts on the way home. By the way, I think that I recognise that post office! I believe it is in Upper Cumberworth.

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    1. Zoomer and stalker.
      It sounds like the bovine experience you wrote about earlier in the year was similar. They seem more curious than anything, but also excitable.

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    2. Zoomer ans Stalker? Are they your solicitors?

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    3. I notice that there is some writing on the post office door but I cannot read it. Can you?

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    4. Of course. I thought you would know how to view the image file at original uploaded resolution. In Chrome you first click on the image to view it, then right click the image and select open image in new tab, then in the new tab the cursor should look like a magnifying glass so that if you click the image it expands to the size of the image as uploaded. Simples.

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    5. Trouble is I'm a bit thick but you are a clever fecker like one of them there feckin' meercats! Difficults.

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  17. Lovely walk. You were wise to avoid the bullocks.

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    1. I think they are bullocks but I didn't want to check closely.

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  18. Lovely and long walk through the countryside! And quite long (and - except the cows - quite healthy!
    It reminds me of a long walk on the Pennines, Peak District or Yorkshire Dales - some wanted to cross a field of cattles , but we others were cautious and against it and so all of us had to walk a bit more...

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    1. This is what might be called the Pennine foothills, about 6 miles (10km) to the east of the southern Pennines.
      With the cows, there is safety in numbers. Except when there is an aggressive bull or you are silly enough to walk between cow and calf, I would think groups of 3 or more would be safe from being harrassed by most herds of cows. There were only two of us.

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