Season 1 – Spring – Series 1
“The Changes of Life”
Walk Time 50 Mins
My walk set off much later this morning by a good few hours. Despite an early to bed time of 12.25am, and lights out by 12.45am, l woke with my alarm at 6.59am and got up ten minutes later. Suze was already out on her walk, but although the weather was sunny at that point, it was darkening up and we did have a possible 45% chance of rain warning for this morning. So l decided to shower first and see how the morning was going to unfold. As l was walking into the bathroom, l could see that Suze had arrived back from her Nordic walk.
I had a quick wake up shower, got out, dried off and dressed in walking gear and had a coffee with Suze whilst she too got ready for work. It looked like rain from 7.45 – 9.15am so l stayed in and worked on my new About page which is now done.
I used to update that section once every quarter but had switched to once every six months – however the last update was August 2019 which some of you may recall was a tough period of time. I finished that off and by 9.30am, the expected sun was shining through and l got my boots on, picked up the camera and swung out the front door, shouting out to Suze as l left about heading off down to The Range aka the Royal Marine Rifle Range.
The Range was initially built in 1856 and served as a rifle range for the Navy and the Army combined and despite having not been used as an active range since the early days of 1903 it is still owned by the M.O.D. In World War II, Kingsdown was the location for secret Oboe radio transmissions, in fact where l walk in Bluebell Woods, there are Oboe building sites there – not that you can see them as such, but you can get a fair idea as to what was where. Oboe was a British aerial blind bombing system utilised during WWII.
But currently, the Range is simply eroding away with the changes of life … like us all in many respects.
I will write about this more this week, the ‘Changes of Life’ as l am experiencing them first hand in a way l didn’t expect to this year. I wrote yesterday briefly on a subject about ‘change’ Dear Blog – The Too Many Walls of a Short Life! and l will return to that this week, l simply need to process the informations l have.
As l left the house, l knew where l wanted to go, but as l looked behind me l could see grey clouds building … they stayed off for the entirety of the walk itself and the sun beating down was extremely warm and welcome, so l was indeed very lucky … there is supposed to be more rain this afternoon sometime. Yesterday it rained almost all day and the next clear days of sunny weather are perhaps this weekend. Perhaps l can get the composting back on track.
I walked down my hill towards the big blossom tree at the bottom of the road and it is truly lovely to look at as it is now losing the blossom petals and it looks like it is snowing all the time. Beautiful pink snow flakes litter the grounds of the house, covering the road and the owner’s cars.
The lane at the bottom of my hill.
Where l live seemingly is made up on lanes upon more lanes! This is called the Unadopted Lane and leads to the lane below which is known as Lower Oldstairs Road which leads to the beach itself and the pathway into The Range.
These stairs lead off to another walk that l know Suze and Scrappy have taken, but l as of yet haven’t … that’s set to change too … soon.
It literally only takes me even at my slower speed in comparison to say Suze’s Nordic walking speed about 8 minutes to stroll from the bottom of my hill to the beach itself. The Range runs along the bottom of the cliffs that the Golf course sit atop and is about 2000 feet or 600 metres in length – it’s a nice walk and much better on a beautiful day. Although Suze, Scrappy and l used to walk it a lot when Scrappy’s arthritis wasn’t a thing. I was trying to recall the last time l was here and l think it was last year and in that time it had changed. I mean everything does, why am l surprised?
As l arrived on the beach, the tide was out and although it was warm it was still a little hazy and grey and overcast.
Looking from the entrance of The Range towards the end and the cliffs. To the left are the broken and crumbling sea defences which were originally built in the later 1890’s.
The Range was just what my mind needed today to think … As to my actual mood l am in a good place, the best way to describe my emotion would be l am happy to be sad and sad to be happy and even that is not entirely right. I was trying to think how l would write today’s post when walking and how l would describe what is going on inside my head? I realised as l walked down my hill and looked at the snowing blossom tree, that today l would not be writing specifically about the events of this week per se and that l would address them later – l needed to think.
Despite the tide being out, these waters below these broken walls are treacherous and in recent months especially since Brexit and more so since lockdown, the sea rescue helicopter is constantly out. Human traffickers in France are pushing migrants over by the raft load and they land here when not intercepted by border control ships. Human traffickers have no love for people l feel only money – these waters are perilous.
Looks are deceptive – when the tide is in – the waters are level with these blocks and smash against them without mercy – which is why they corrode. In the nearly four years that we have been here, these blocks have all fallen more so. There used to be more of a sea defence line now they are only a rubble line.
2020 is a strange year …. not just for Suze and myself but for many people – but l am not writing about many people, l am however writing about my relationship with my partner Suze. At the start of the year we had an enormous amount of stress. Suze was still recovering from being ill the previous year, and Scrappy was in serious decline with her arthritis and sadder still the K9 dementia. The cancer Scrappy had wasn’t the direct culprit to her passing.
January 12th Suze and l had to say goodbye to my little girl of 16 years and our little girl of 7, and l am saddened just by writing this as it is still so heavy on my heart. I will write about Scrappy in her series this year, she has two planned – one is a walking series like this and another is about her life but those two series weigh on my mind now, because everything in life ties up with something else and one post can’t bring them all together to complete understanding.
Another series l have planned is A Man on Pause Too which is about living with menopause in my life from a male perspective. But why bring these series up in this post? Because they are ALL connected to this post, they are connected to my life today, the here and now, they are about change, changing and changed ……… everything is interconnected.
Budding artist or even artists – either way, all quite fascinating … as l walked along this, it made me think of the song Another Brick In The Wall and Life Changes and this brought me back to my own post Too Many Walls – everything is always connected if you look for the signs … the inspiration. These drawings were made during this lockdown period.
At the start of 2020 Lockdown l knew the following to be true …. l was in a relationship with a woman l loved and had known since 2013 and is my best human mate, l knew that since the loss of Scrappy we were both grieving but Suze was suffering a great deal more l felt. I knew we wanted a business together and we were working towards that and l felt that we were pretty good as a couple…………
View from the wall looking at France and fishing boats and a busy shipping lane.
Five weeks into Lockdown and l realised that one of us had changed considerably, possibly and maybe and that this time next year … l might not be living where l do now, might be in a business by myself and might possibly not even be under the same roof as Suze.
In 37 days … things had changed significantly … but as they say, we are all masters of our own universes – right? Nothing is ever set in concrete …
All in all l had a lovely walk and that is all that matters.
Nothing is ever ‘that’ set in concrete … everything changes – it’s all to do with the way you look at it.
Thanks for reading.