Friday, 1 January 2016

Adventures and Exploration ...

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time ~ T.S.Eliot
 
Tired of all the excesses and inactivity of the past week we went on a little exploration of  a village close by; Gumley, small, with just one street - a pub and a church - a one horse town.  It is part of a larger estate with hills and valleys, woodland and pasture; the church stands on a small rise and the warm stone glowed in the afternoon sun.  Partly surrounding the church is a small woodland; we ventured in through an old dilapidated gate, that is neither use nor ornament, and crunched through a leaf-littered floor.  From past posts you know that I am in my element when surrounded by ancient trees, and although the feeling of a woodland  is different in winter; I still find them full of mystery and unspoken secrets.

Trees had fallen and were rotting back into the ground; but where there is death, life finds a way.  The trunks had been taken over by such a variety of fungi some glistening in the sun, as if coated with honey.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a small group of sheep blundered into view; as startled to see us, as we them.  They looked so incongruous in a woodland setting rather than pasture; soon they ignored us and went about their business, as if we were the intruders,  not they.  On the way out we found a broken fence, no doubt they would make their way back to the grass when they were ready.

The back of the church opens out on to grazing land with a huge tree at its centre, planted to give the animals shade in the heat of summer. 
Back out on the road I spotted this ancient wall draped with ivy - to my mind, reminiscent of Miss Havisham's garden - beautiful in its neglect.















It is always good to spend time out of doors after all the overindulgence of Christmas - and  now my husband is retired we hope to go on many more adventures and explorations of neighbouring villages, finding secret overgrown places and paths that lead nowhere.

Elaine
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.  There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. ~ Nehru







50 comments:

  1. I feel as though I was on that lovely walk with you. Look forward to more!

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    1. It was good to be able to explore when the rain stopped for a while Freda - most enjoyable .

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  2. Oh Elaine, the Elliot line is one of my all time favorites in literature. We have nothing to happen upon like that in the US and what a walk that must be. I do think I'll take a walk today anyway.

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    1. There are all sorts of places we have yet to find around here even though we have lived here for eons.

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  3. How wonderful to go out exploring neighbouring villages. I love the first image and the T.S. Eliot quotation. Happy New Year!

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    1. It is a while since we have done this - hope to do more in the coming months. Happy new year to you too.

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  4. Elaine, your photos tell of a fairytale setting. I see the cars are parked on the sidewalk on the town's narrow street. Happy 2016! Here's to more exploring!

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    1. The streets are all very narrow in the villages round here usually making parking difficult - the roads were made for horses and carts rather than cars.

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  5. I love these photos of such a beautiful place, it looks really peaceful and lush with history. Have a wonderful 2016 full of adventure.

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    1. It is full of history Sarah part of a large estate, sadly all the old buildings have now been converted to dwellings - many many years ago I visited the old stable block when there were still horses there and met Lancelot a huge hunter - strange that that has stuck in my mind.

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  6. Lovely quote of T.S. Eliot and wonderful pictures. When visiting England we always love visiting village churches with their neglected graveyards where sometimes even sheep are grazing. Just amazing! Nice to be able to go to explore villages with your husband from now on. Happy New Year!

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    1. I love visiting churchyards too each one different and full of history often neglected where wild flowers bloom freely and wildlife make their homes.

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  7. A lovely post and wonderful pictures. It looks to be the ideal place for a leisurely walk at any time of year providing that the weather is good.
    Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty. The weather has been so dire just lately that it was good to get out between showers and get some fresh air.

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  8. I love ancient trees and am fascinated by fungi. I always think that it is mind blowing to think of how much history the tree has witnessed.

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    1. Me too Sue - some of the trees in this small wood were huge and the fungi we found was magnificent - always exciting to find so many different types in one place.

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  9. What a lovely place to go for a walk! Happy New Year! xx

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  10. What a lovely wood, thank you for taking me on your walk.

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  11. Elaine, thank you for sharing that lovely English country walk.

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  12. Dear Elaine - so loved my walk with you. The charm of the old church with the sun shining on it made my heart sing. It was like I was standing there with you. As always your photos are so lovely as well as your words. I hope you have a very blessed new year. Hugs!

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    1. It is a lovely old church Debbie in a beautiful position surrounded by the trees - a pleasant way to spend an hour. Have a great new year and may 2016 bring your peace and joy.

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  13. I love the idea of paths that lead to nowhere, because you just never know what might be discovered along the way. I can just about smell the earthiness of the area by your choice of photos. Here's to many more walks and sharing them with you :) Happy New Year!

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    1. Around here we notice all these yellow marker posts that indicate where you can walk across fields - old public footpaths and rights of way - it will be interesting to follow them to see where they lead. Happy New Year Glo.

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  14. The pale grey mushrooms are Oyster Mushrooms; very good to eat. It looks like a beautiful village, the sort of place that could almost tempt me to live back in England. I feel the same as you about woodland. Cro x

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    1. You could tell they were Oyster Mushrooms from the shape - they looked perfectly fresh as if they had just sprung forth.

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  15. I really do think that we forget what a beautiful country we live in, don't you Elaine ? Little hamlets like that are everywhere and so pretty .... and, nearly always there's a pub !!! .... and, in such a small country, there is nearly always an open space for walking, even in London.
    Gorgeous images of, in my opinion, the best country in the world. XXXX

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    1. I do so agree Jackie - it is beautiful around here as long as you have the stamina to get out and about - it is pretty hilly round here and gives the old leg muscles a good work out.

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  16. The photo of the village recommends it instantly as a background for a BBC-Miss-Marple! So beautiful, as the woods on your photos too.

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    1. I agree Britta - Miss Marple would feel quite at home in this village.

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  17. What a magnificent place... rich with solitude for contemplation and all that lies ahead for the new year.
    You seem to be blessed that day with sunshine which we are so lacking here with the grey days that have set in for a week.
    Happy New Year.
    Susan x

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    1. It was a rare moment of fine weather - it has been pretty miserable and rainy here too - as the old saying goes 'make hay while the sun shines' as soon as the rain stopped we took advantage of it. Happy New Year Susan I hope it is a good one for you.

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  18. I know what you mean about holiday excesses....I could do with a really long walk too. What a lovely woodland, the old gate is really quaint and that wall is beautiful! How lovely to have the unexpected company of sheep
    Gosh, what a great variety of fungi! Here's to more exploring!xxx

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    1. It was a very pleasant interlude - I love finding new places around where we live - so often they go unnoticed but there are all sorts of paths that we have yet to tread

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  19. That's such a beautiful walk, and the sheep do look so strange in the woodland setting! We always have a need to get out after Christmas too although with the weather being as it is they haven't been as long as we hoped. Sarah x

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    1. Yes Sarah it is good to get out but like you the walks haven't been long enough - it can only get better.

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  20. Hello there! I just wandered over here after seeing your lovely comment on my blog. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving such kind words behind. It felt a little lonely, returning after such a long time away, and you helped me feel a little less alone. You know, I live in Canada, but I feel like a part of my soul resides in the english countryside... I dream of living there, more than any other place... wandering the vast open fields and bluebell forests, and charming little lanes... If only there could be two of me. I will be back so I can explore your words and images when I have a quiet moment. It's so nice to meet you!

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    1. Hello Jaime
      Thanks for visiting here - I am looking forward to getting to know you.

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  21. It looks like a fabulous place for a midwinter walk, sheep included of course.

    Happy New Year to you and yours :)

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    1. Happy new year to you too Annie.

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  22. Oh, I so agree with you. It is nice to get out and about and enjoy the fresh air, and you never know what you may come across.
    Those fungi look amazing.

    Enjoy the rest of the week, can you believe it's already Wednesday tomorrow !

    All the best Jan

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    1. Absolutely Jan. I can't believe how fast time is going at the moment.

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  23. First i have to say, that i am really happy that i found you.
    I am also a dreamer and romantic.
    Big hugs from austria
    Kuni your new follower

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  25. I love exploring villages. That Miss Haversham garden sparks the imagination. Thank you for sharing these beautiful, peaceful pictures. Happy 2016 to you and yours!

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