Saturday 16 February 2013

Simply A Moment: And all without a safety hat


One of my favourite things to do is go for a wander around my own head. Which is just as well really, as I do it rather a lot.

What I don't do often enough is make a note of those journeys ... and I really should, because, when I've done so in the past, I've enjoyed looking back on my meandering thoughts. It's just like leafing back through an old photo album where there aren't any pictures ... except the ones inside my head.

All of which goes to explain why I'm joining in once again with the 'Simply A Moment' meme created by the ever-eloquent and inspiring Alexa in which she encourages us to, once a month, record in detail, a moment which could otherwise have passed by without comment.

You can read these tips from Alexa on how to record your own moments and view her most recent Simply A Moment post here.

And you can read mine just here ...

And All Without a Safety Hat

Date: Friday 15th February 2013
Time: around 10:15am
Location: walking to the Post Office from home
I'm not wearing a hat!

I'm not wearing a hat, and yet it's not cold. When was the last time that happened? And the sun's out!

Hello sunshine.

What I am wearing is my old boots. The stretchy fabric at the back is all crumbling away but they're still comfy, especially on my heels which need supporting when I walk fast.

And I will be walking fast.

I can't help it. There's no easy explanation why. There's several. Mixed together. Like aspiring to be more fit for one, but there are others ...

I walk up the drive and on to the street remembering the days [a long time ago now] when leaving the house was hard. Impossible in fact. And as for walking to the shops alone ... well ... that took some training. Quite some building-up-to.

One step at a time.
A dog, that I can't see, barks from the [hopefully, please let it be so] safe distance of a garden somewhere on the estate.

And, with that noise, carried on the still air of this bright morning, we can welcome-in another reason for my speedy walk: fear of dogs. Or the possibility of meeting one. Or, as I'd prefer, of avoiding meeting one.

[At the same time we can welcome-in a shot of adrenaline courtesy of my autonomic fight-or-flight responses. And I walk a little faster.]

Fortunately there are other sounds on the air. Like birdsong and the squeaky chatter of starlings makes me smile.

The snow and ice of recent weeks has cleared but left its mark. There are flakes of red brick on the pavements where garden walls have been nibbled by frost and loose patches of gravel where the road surfaces have crumbled.

It's as if a glacier passed through this 1960s housing estate and tore up the landscape on the way.

Quickly through the alleyway now. That [ironic] dog-leg bend in the middle means I never know if the exit is free. Fortunately it is [it usually is, I've never yet been trapped in an alley by a dog! But my phobia always reminds me that past performance is no indicator of future dog-free alleys. Or something like that anyway.]

The sound of a blackbird flitting between garden fences. Repetitive and evocative and I think: I've known that sound all my life.

Two seagulls cut in front of me in a low, sweeping, diagonal drawing a backslash across my path. And my thoughts.

Onwards, around the bend and up the last section of rising gradient before reaching the shops. I'm warm and fairly breathless, but I don't slow-up, or down, until I'm there.

Where a queue forces me to stand still.

Ahead of me a little boy in a pushchair sings the line: "this little finger on my right" from 'One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive'.

And, like the blackbird I heard on the way ... he repeats the same line again and again.

And again, I'm smiling at the sound of an unexpected song.

It's funny what you hear ... when you're not wearing your hat.


Don't forget to visit Alexa for links to more 'Simply A Moment' posts.

I'll be back soon.

Julie x


  1. I've just come from a "moment" which hinted at a similar kind of feeling..she's making great progress and it's so good to read about the sunshine which can be achieved further down the road. Am I making sense? I hope so x

  2. Lovely to read of your walk through things both present and past, and how they mesh together. I so enjoy your writing and the chance to know a little more about you and your journey. Those boots were mad for walking, clearly! So delighted you've joined in again this month and thank- you so very much :).

  3. So well described. I was walking with you (and my mum who struggles with the fear of meeting a stray dog! It's not easy!)x

  4. Such lovely prose - I felt like I was on the walk with you.

  5. Love the way you have taken this meme. It's a wonderful spin on it!

  6. I do that!!! when I go to collect Miss Em, my granddaughter, from school - the only time I go out on my own - I have make myself walk slowly. This is a great improvement because until she started school I didn't go out without Mr M. Now I can cross the road and everything as long as Miss Em needs me. Then I can do it.
    I know this sound silly but I was so proud of you for getting there.

  7. I really enjoy your writing Julie, and I will remember to try not wearing a hat!

  8. This is a great moment captured, and it's intriguing to get inside your head. I like the glimpse of the flakes of red brick, I can really picture it. Love your boots, I too always wear my boots until they fall apart. Keep on walking. x


Thanks for leaving me a comment, asking me a question, sharing your own story or just randomly saying hello.