Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Back to the Canals

This is my first ever blog post direct from my phone and consists of pictures taken entirely on my iphone camera, so I apologyse that it looks a bit like an Instagram feed. 
My camera is bulky and heavy and I had the flu so energy was in short supply, but one thing I find is that fresh air is the best cure for colds rather than sitting in a stuffy bedroom breathing the same germs. It was beautiful and sunny, the first nice day we've had in weeks so sitting inside and being poorly wasn't an option. Besides, I hardly ever get sick and I absolutely hate staying in doors so I think we would have gone anyway even if my leg was falling off and I had been diagnosed with the zombie plague. It was a perfect day for a bicycle ride :) it was warm as summer, and the canal path which is one of my favourite haunts had been calling to me for quite a while. 
There's three reasons why I love riding a bike on the canal ways: a) it's flat b) it's flat and c) it's flipping beautiful 
I've never been on them in the autumn and riding through canopy's of colour whilst leaves drifted serenely downwards was dreamy and the relaxing sort of adventure I needed. There's something beautiful in decay. Autumn is a sort of morbid season since everything is dying and the sun is tired preparing for it's winter hibernation whilst birds fly south and it feels like nature is abandoning us. 
Yet we still find it one of the most beautiful times of year 

So this is my wonderful bike, and documentary of our midday adventure as we rode the canal ways of Bath in search of the aqueduct. 

My bike is very old and beaten up. 
My Nan gave it to me. Normally it has a wicker basket on the front, but it broke when I put too much shopping in it because the leather straps were weak from age. It's beaten up because I fall off it so much... I'm not very good at coordination and needless to say, I did nearly end up in the canal on an occasion. It was a near-soak experience

The entrance to the waterways can be found in Sydney gardens near the Holborne museum. They're well concealed and have an air of secret about them... Look out for a wrought iron white gate near the bridge 

We stopped at Bathampton mill for a ginger beer and to sit in the gardens by the weir because it was so hot, even though it looks wintery in the picture. People swim here in the summer 

We found George's barge!

You find all sorts along the canals, peoples homes spread out, sometimes BBQs and little gardens.

We spotted some cannoeists! I wish I could build a raft and travel along the waterways 

 George is being an airplane

We crossed the train track, and I nearly got ran over twice because I'm not very good at listening for trains. 

Warleigh weir in the autumn seems so quiet and forlorn compared to the bustling hub it was in the summer. There was one family having a BBQ and that seemed like a good idea :) hot sausages in baps on the river 

After 5 miles and many stops for explores, we found it! The aqueduct! It's just near Bradford on Avon and I've never seen one before, so I was pretty excited. A water bridge! Below is the view from 'on' the aqueduct. George felt like 5 miles was enough to justify a nap

We sped back to Bath full speed ahead because I had lessons at four, only  stopping for pasties and flapjacks in town. We also had fun baking a blackberry Victoria sponge in the evening. 
It was the loveliest day I've had in a while.
I quit my job this weekend and now I feel free! Free to adventure and explore as much as I can although these activities will also have to be free... maybe that can be a new part of my blog?: 101 free things to do in Somerset, a cheapskates day out. 
I'm going to put up my autumn/winter to-do list soon! 
Happy Halloween week, explorers!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Dutch Water Gardens And Gloomy October Days

There's such peace in the rain. I used to think that I could only find the rain beautiful back home by the sea, but actually... there's a quietude in the city when the clouds fall on us and I feel closer to the very sky that I yearn for so much.
Once upon a time, I loathed Bath. I loathed it, because it felt like a prison that kept me from happiness and kept me from George and kept me from the ocean. This new term though has been a true blessing; I am in love with my new course. I study books, every day. I feel like I'm just bathing in a metaphorical swimming pool of glorious paper pages filled with the words of great imaginations. It's just... incredible. The best part though, is that my bestest of friends is with me for the adventure and now it's not as scary. I still miss the ocean, our families and the salty sea air of my home, but it's almost too easy now. I have books, and I have George.

Today, we ventured a wild drive in the afternoon over to Westbury dutch water gardens (which are nowhere near Westbury at all! actually almost in Wales by the forests of Dean!) I used to work for the national trust and so I had some knowledge of the other properties about and when I had learned of these "water gardens" I really was intrigued. They basically had me at "water". It was dreary, cloudy and grey but we didn't want to let that get in our way of adventure. Last week, we went to Cheddar in the pouring rain and also did a ramble around Chew Valley lake (In the torrents) so we were determined that we weren't going to be put off by some showers. The gardens were lovely, and I was so fascinated by the little collection of canals in the gardens that were there simply to be and not to carry boats to and fro. We had great fun playing in the leaves and munching on the apples that they offered us, and since it had been such a long  time that we took photographs for fun... we played with the camera too.

We had great fun filling my umbrella with leaves and pretending it was raining autumn. It was actually Georges idea to make it rain autumn, I just wanted to fill up my umbrella with leaves for reasons I haven't quite decided on yet :)

This was our friend that we made, a young duck that had only just got her new "big duck" feathers!

Free tasty apples! 

The canals are so calming, it was good in a way that it was gloomy because we had the gardens very much to ourselves. But on a sunny hot day, it would be perfect to come with a picnic and book. 

One day, I'm going to travel around the Norfolk Broads by boat. I don't know when, and I don't think George has realised this yet, but it's going to happen. He's not too impressed by my dream of living on a house boat, but perhaps he could be persuaded with a compromise of a holiday? It would be a wonderful adventure. He is my opposite in almost every way, yet we are almost the same person.

This autumn is passing by quickly, but with a bit of luck we can squeeze in an adventure a week! We were thinking of next going to the forests of Dean.
I mostly keep this blog for the benefit of my family but in class, we were told that blogs are fantastic tools and are highly encouraged. Maybe I should start doing more things with mine? So far, its just a journal of adventures but I think I should start building it up and getting it really going. I know It's been going for quite a while... A slow trickle, but watch this space... It's going to start growing :)

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