Thoughts while walking


The gym is good for lifting weights and gaining muscle tone, but I do so prefer walking. I know that if I want to keep walking I have to strengthen my core and my back and that’s why I go to the gym, still, outside is just better.

I wonder again, how I ended up living for so long in a big city. First Munich and now Birmingham and at times, I get anxious that I will end up living in Birmingham until I die. It is a stupid thing to get anxious about but I do. People will say to me, then just move. As if it was so easy. Maybe it is easy, but I don’t find it easy and that’s the same thing.

I love watching the magpies gathering material for their nests. They are not bothered about anyone’s presence, they just get on with it. I wonder if that couple is repairing an existing nest or if they built it from scratch. Then I notice another couple in the next tree. Are they good neighbours? Magpies certainly seem to hang out in groups. You either see one (sorrow) or 4 (a girl).

This dog that walks with me and is not my dog is cute. An Irish setter, he runs ahead of me and then runs back to me. I pretend for a moment that he is mine, no owner in sight anyway. He does his business next to some daffodils and since I always have poo bags in my coat pocket, I pick it up. The owner comes suddenly in view and thanks me, but does not offer to take the poo bag. Oh well, the next bin is only round the next bend.

Dogless now, I look across the golf course and wonder how it looked when the Abbey was still there and this was just parkland. I wish it was just parkland. I have nothing against golfers per se, but is it really necessary for golf courses to be everywhere. I know the Park Trust where I live earn a big chunk of their income through green fees, but once again I wonder if there could not be another way. I think about this every time I walk past the golf course, which is normally three to four times a week. Asthma permitting.

I spot a parakeet. They are relatively new here. Immigrants and like so many of us immigrants people either find them interesting or concerning. Competing for food and nesting sites with birds and bats. However, others say that parakeets are easy prey for sparrowhawks and the like, so a great food source themselves. And we certainly now have birds of prey in the woods. And we don’t really know yet, what the long term impact of those parakeets will be.

The willow is starting to go green. Always the first one. I love that tree and in the child’s most maddest Harry Potter phase, she would shout: Here is the weeping willow. And then swiftly demand an ice cream because it is next to the park cafe.

I see that the rhododendron has been cut back. My husband loathes the rhododendron and I guess he has a point, apart from the time it blooms, it does not look that appealing in hedges and parklands. It is an invasive species and still classed as foreign despite the fact that it has been in the UK since the middle of the 18th century. It takes a long time to become British. I don’t like it because unlike other plants, it is toxic to animals and produces absolutely no food for any species. Even the pollen contains toxins. I am no botanist or anything like that, but facts like that find me and stay with me and then I randomly spurt them out, even just in my thoughts.  These facts are just as hard to get rid of as the rhododendron, tiny seeds and roots that can sprout new plants/thoughts anywhere. Such is my brain. Maybe that is why I don’t hate the plant as much as my husband does, I feel a certain kinship with it.

I walk mainly to wake up. The insomnia has been with me for over two weeks now. It shifted this week from the “being awake for hours at night” to the “wake up every half an hour and then go back to sleep” type. Not sure which type I hate more. Really does not matter because either way, I am tired, exhausted. It’s 7.45 and I have been walking for half an hour. It’s cold and humid this morning. I look for my inhaler, that moment of panic when I cannot immediately find it. There it is. I inhale and look across the big green area and watch dogs and owners. Dogs running. Owners standing. I decide to take another loop through a different area of the park. Not quite awake enough yet, to go home and work. I am not quite sure how I will manage to work at all today, my brain is so tired.

When the kid was a baby, a health visitor once said: sleep begets sleep. And I am trying to use her advice on myself, implementing that daily nap again. Hoping it will improve night time sleep. Yesterday, I had that nap at 10am. 30 minutes. I hope I can stick around until 1pm today. And that I will feel less guilty about taking a nap.

This loop takes me to the site where the old Abbey once was. I wish I could have seen it. I love a Gothic mansion and the Abbey was Gothic perfection.  Got torn down in the 50ies. It is a shame, but I guess, it was a bit like a plaster being ripped off. Better than watching the slow decline of so many amazing buildings in Birmingham and the Black Country.

It’s time to go home. Do some work. Drink more tea. And coffee. Happy Friday.


Author: Melanie

I read, I eat (and cook) and I like to go places.

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