Tuned in to the surroundings

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Sunday, October 30, 2005

Coming back first to Europe and then to the UK has been very pleasant. I've seen family and friends, but the most unexpected pleasure has been to be in easy touch with nature and to appreciate the scenery and wildlife around me. Sometimes, when you've got it good you don't really appreciate that you've got it good, but the UK really is a green and pleasant land. Certainly, it's an over-populated island and some of it's most common sights are disappearing rapidly for many of its inhabitants, but there is an incredible variety of landscape in such a small area. So much of the countryside is easy on the eye and easily accessible.

On a personal note, I know what time of year it is and where I am almost instinctively just by registering plant life, wildlife or the light and colour of the sky. In some ways, it seems that for all I might explore, there is part of me - a sort of biorhythm that is dialled into this landscape forever. This is Mother England.

This comes to home to me with an early morning walk by the River Wye in Hereford, the water is smooth, the leaves are turning and the air smells like autumn, just a little bit damp and fresh, but it doesn't smell like spring. I can't explain the difference between the smell of autumn and spring, but I know. You know you're in the UK from the old bridges across the river and the silhouette of the cathedral on the hill. It just can't be anywhere else.

Later, I go for a hike with my parents, cousin and dog to Hay Bluff on the Anglo-Welsh border. The top of the hill has disappeared in fast moving, swirling low cloud, and the psychedelic colours of the countryside below are permanently spinning as flashes of sunlight break the cloud cover. This, is beautiful. It's easy to forget how lucky you are when you have this kind of scenery around you every day of your life.
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