What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!
Looking back on last year now, it strikes me just how I never went walking the countryside as much as I might have done. However, there were preoccupations weighing on my mind. Ongoing political events were among them but a then forthcoming upheaval in my working life was a more pronounced concern. The latter continued into this year but was sorted in March though it had limited excursions in January as much as the weather did likewise in February.
Whatever tricky challenges I had imagined for 2020, they became nothing compared to a new viral disease that had sent us all into lockdown. In my case, it also brought added tension that got the better of me in April. Chats with clinicians have helped and I am moving beyond the episode now thanks to clarification of thinking as much as daily relaxation exercises.
Throughout all of this, I ventured out of doors every day for physical exercise in the locality. Some days, I have contented myself with local parks (Riverside, Victoria, South and West) but my horizons have expanded on other ones. As well as walking, I have returned to cycling too in an effort to make the current time feel less confining. While fairer weather and the time of year add encouragement, it also is amazing how a level of restriction causes you to make more use of what you have and that applies to me too.
All the while, I have been seeking our quieter places for an added sense of relaxation. Generally, I would have sought solitude anyway but social distancing is another motivation. Living in Macclesfield, I am fortunate to have nearby hill country into which I can escape. Of course, others can have similar ideas and that is why I limit travel along both the Macclesfield Canal and the Middlewood Way.
Tegg’s Nose and Croker Hill have seen encounters along with a variety of local places like Henbury, Gawsworth, Bollington, Prestbury, Rainow, Siddington, Marton, Alderley Edge, Chelford, North Rode and Bosley. The latter list sounds fairly extensive in its disorderly arrangement but it is good to have such surrounding countryside when so many are staying close to home.
Some places like Henbury can be busier that might be expected so it is taking some time to learn how to ensure social distancing is ever improving. Cutting down on touching of surfaces and bringing hand sanitiser on an outing is part of the way of things at the moment though there have been little moral boosters as well.
It might any some but the pervasive of sunny days is a blessing too and I have been making photos as I go. It is amazing what new sights you can find on a local patch. For instance, Macclesfield’s South Park offers views of Shutlingsloe and Croker Hill that add to a sunny evening stroll. There are new rights of way to find and travel as well as amenities like Bosley Reservoir. It all helps to lift a mood and can grant you a quiet relaxing cycling or stroll if you get things right with timing. Going out when others are not inspired to do the same remains a possibility as much as finding where they have not been inspired to go.
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