Time out/no driving

So it was a dull day weather wise. Cold and wet and grey. It was tempting to jump in the car and drive about, looking for somewhere to have coffee and to be cheered by the company of fellow cafe customers. But I was still feeling the ghost of January resolutions and one of these had been to get more exercise. So that’s why I ended up dressing for the weather with winter boots and waterproofs and walking  –  yes actually walking into town.

 Courtenay park in January, bare trees, empty bandstand and, at 11 in the morning on a weekday, no kids in the playground. But it is a quieter route to the town centre, away from traffic. Walking, in spite of the weather, felt good. I could feel myself starting to relax. It made a change to wander without any particular agenda. When I drive into town I am usually on a mission to find something and invariably disappointed. I get stressed by other people’s inconsiderate driving or the lack of parking spaces. But this felt OK. The walk was an end in itself. Even if nothing particularly interesting happened.and when you walk you notice details that you miss in a car, like the way that the town seemed to have been built on a grid system, with the Avenue, St Paul’s Rd and Devon Square focussing attention on St Paul’s church. One of the strengths of this  town is the way that residential areas are so close to the shopping areas. It would be perfectly possible to manage without a car at all. Keeping two cars, I decided, was plain ridiculous and I made a mental note to get rid of the one that these days sits on the drive more often than not. Then I walked out on to Queen Street. Decent hairdressers and health food shop. The model shop. But lots of less than pretty street architecture.The visual pollution of crazy signage and then.. .opposite Bearnes Primary School a little Italian place I had not noticed before. I will describe it in more detail next time.but suffice to say that I returned from the walk having drunk the best coffee in Devon, lunched on the nicest pasta possibly anywhere, with a metre of linen, two bars of posh soap, narcissus in a pot and  some lilac coloured broom – Cytisus purpureus, according to the woman in the florist’s – that I had not seen before. I also bought samphire and fresh fish pieces for a fish pie to cook for supper.  All in all, really unexpectedly, a really lovely morning…


Author: lori

I am a writer and artist living in the south-west of England, torn between wanting to make a nest and settle in one place and the haunting feeling that no matter where I choose to live there is somewhere better over the next horizon.. this is an account of my quest to cure myself of that feeling by learning to be happy in the here and the now.

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