Dawn Patrol

I woke at 5, then after the birds began just after first light, out into the still morning air. All looked a little eerie in the grey.

The school, pre-dawn:

To where? I wasn’t sure at this stage.

Something coming:

Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning:

Woodcote Park to Bramdean Common:

Bluebells at dawn:

Morning Walk

I went out for a half hour walk at 8 this morning, before work. These be some of the thingies I saw:

Leafy light:

The footpath says CLOSED DUE TO COMPLAINTS. Well hell they can’t just do that, so I went anyway.

Beacon Hill:

Old Winchester Hill (you can make out the burial mounds)

The peacock man’s plane. He takes off from a field by his house, literally a strip between crops.

Not sure what this is about, as there’s no running water around here:

The bluebells are out! The bluebells are out!

Brockwood Grove, new angle:

New beech against the evergreens:

New beech against the blossom:

Iyengar Yoga

This evening, for the first time in about 8 years, I was in an Iyengar class. It was at Compton, south of Winchester, with a teacher called Sandy. I really appreciate the attention to detail and the time given to each posture, with relatively minor changes once in the pose making a huge difference. Again I was the lone male, and among 8 middle-aged women. This is not unusual, and after all, I am a middle aged man. I was made very welcome and it was a fun class. We were in a special school, so there were bright butterflies and happy faces painted on the walls. After class, I felt a couple of inches taller, elongated gently through many tight areas of my legs, chest high and open. Staying in the poses a while and working with the same posture in a few variations really helps. I’ll definitely go again.

It’s the Easter holidays at Brockwood, so the remaining staff and mature students have the place to ourselves. Once again, relishing the sun as we ate outdoors, chatting with Friedrich, a long term supporter of Brockwood.

At work I am making sure I take breaks, even wandering down to the bottom of the lane, or among the daffodils of the centre every hour. I’ve said it before, but if smokers get a break, why can’t non-smokers?

Steps: 6515

110324 Nature Tour of Brockwood

Ten days ago, Phil, a visiting biologist gave a nature tour of some of Brockwood Park. He was kind enough to let me film it. The video doesn’t contain the whole tour but an edited thirteen minutes. We learnt something about chicken relatives in the forests of India, dog’s mercury, daffodils known as Lent Lilies, the corkscrew hazel, pigeons eating stones, birds of prey regurgitating the indigestible fur, feathers and bones of their kill, the formation of flint, and the nutritious qualities of beech sap and young hawthorn leaves. The spring has advanced considerably in ten days and it’s looking so much greener than in this video:

Steps: 5544

110323 Daffodils

It felt like summer, it really did. Relishing the sun at lunchtime, relaxing on the south lawn, students playing rounders, us talking crap. A beauty of a day. It not really being summer, the daffodils are in full-on flower, so many.

If an extended summer is an Indian Summer, what’s an early one called?

Sunny steps: 3936

Scrap Book: Dell Cottages

Here’s a picture of Dell Cottages, back in 2005. We lived in the right hand of these two, on the upper floor. The view was expansive, over a long meadow flanked by two lanes and a wood. In the wood are ancient burial mounds. This was the second of four homes at Brockwood. First Dean, down by the A272, then Dell, then a flat in the centre above the laundry and kitchen, and now a flat above the reception area. By far this current one is my favourite, yet Dell had its charms, not least a garden surrounding the whole building, reaching into the woods, the woods reaching into the garden.

110313 Sap

Tidied up the place after my week of bachelorhood, with C coming back from Damascus this afternoon. On getting up I practised from the book Moving Towards Balance, by Rodney Yee, with the intention to follow the whole eight week course and learn some of the subtleties of the major poses, for myself and the class.

This afternoon I attended a nature tour of Brockwood with Phil, a visiting biologist. I videoed some of it and will post it when edited. Perhaps it can go on the Brockwood blog. We walked around the north and south lawns, the field to the south, and the plantation, with Phil pointing out natural features I just wouldn’t have noticed. We ate hawthorn leaf buds and drank a little birch sap, both highly nutritious. (Incidentally, I’d like to have a juicer again to create some super health potions. Maybe I can put these ingredients in.)

After blogging the drum & bass entry, I read the next part of the journal from 97, writing during listening to Megatripolis. I downloaded most of it and will have a session when I go to bed. See later post.

This was the last day of my holiday. Will take some more next month as I have 4 weeks left to use before August meaning a week a month if I don’t carry any over… wow!

Steps stepped: 4567

The Mud Hut Is Dead (231/365)

The Mud Hut Is Dead (230/365), originally uploaded by :Duncan.

The site for the Pavilion buildings is really opening up now. This mud hut was built in the late 90s (I think) and wasn’t expected to last so very long. And now it is pretty much gone. A pine tree has also been felled but I understand that the surrounding trees will remain. With the large hedges around the garages gone too, for the first time today I could imagine the new buildings in place.

Images of the designs are here