Not the band. Although I vaguely remember them. Wonderwall? Two brothers, scruffy and moany. They fell out?  I seem to have missed out on popular music – with a few exceptions –  since I was listening to the Eagles in the late 70s. When my kids were at home they’d occasionally play something I liked, bits of Muse or Kate Somebody, but mainly I’ve been stuck with my teenage and early 20s likes. Some of these are having a revival. I’ve heard several versions of Bridge over Troubled Water recently but none a patch on S and G.

Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine.

All your dreams are on their way.

It brings me out in a shiver even now when I know my dreams didn’t turn up or turn out as planned.   Still, there’s time. Sail on silver girl. Maybe I should go grey. But not yet.

No, I read a writing prompt about oasis and wondered where I go to be refreshed and replenished. My first thought was my bed. I am or was a gifted sleeper. I know psychologically speaking the bed represents the womb and a retreat there is very telling. The descent into unconsciousness is usually a pleasant one. Being welcomed by cool sheets or cosy blankets, yielding mattress and pillows. All very Freudian. I do love my bed but recently I have found that it doesn’t work for me in the same way. Sleep is not so refreshing as it once was no matter how tired I am.

What works for me these days is walking. Of course I’ve always walked. Mind you I was nearly two before I started and my mum had my legs checked in case there was something wrong with me but no, as in so many things I was just a slow starter.

I’ve made up those idle years in good measure. We’ve had dogs for years now and so walking has been part of my daily routine, which is good and healthy and they love it of course. However some dogs are not relaxing to take out. Dogs that fight or hunt small furry creatures. Or those who make a bid for adoption by other dog owners, usually those dog owners with pockets full of treats. My oldest dog Billy, despite being nearly 16 and deaf as a post, can sniff a Bonio or a digestive across several football pitches. He runs off and sits at the prospective new owner’s feet whining gently and looking devoted and meaningfully at their groin and pocket containing the biscuits. Most of them fall for this wheeze and then indulge him with many treats which is why he now has a back so wide you balance a tea tray on it.  P1000056

Naughty dogs run off and you spend all your time chasing them, shrieking their stupid names or practising reverse psychology and walking halfhearted away. At which point they join the group clustered round Biscuit Bob at the far end of the field and attempt to get in his car with him. Then you walk up purposefully and scruff the hound a little harder than perhaps you should and explain that you rehomed him aged one and we don’t know what it was that happened to make him so skittish. On the way home you remember that these were the people to whom you showed the photos of your new puppy in his basket with his mum and brothers and sisters. One of them may even have gone with you to pick him up. What I am saying is that some dogs can make you behave unreasonably and sometimes a walk is better without them. Although it does look a bit weird doesn’t it, seeing people walking without dogs? Especially round here in the woods. Why? And seeing a man walking on his own always feels a little troubling. Or is that just me?

Anyhow I have done a lot of walking with or with pooches and now I have a sweetie little dog who has no desire to run off and explore and make friends with anyone else. She just likes to keep close and go where I go. Easy company and it means I can give my attention to the walk. Not the bloody dog. Also because she is small and only has short legs I am learning to slow down. She is not desperate for exercise. She doesn’t need wearing out. She is content to be wherever we are. I am learning a lot from her.P1030789

So I am walking more slowly, less frantically. I notice more because I am less focussed on just getting through it. Ticking it off my to do list. I have come to love certain parts of the country side where I live. A certain slope in the fields behind my house and a small wood give me pleasure every time I walk in them. The trees are now bare and they line the field like guardians. They stand noble and dignified and entire in their winter nakedness. They do not resist the seasons but in each they wear their beauty fully and naturally. I watch them and breathe in the freezing air. They teach me. I am renewed. Refreshed. Replenished.IMG_1462