Four minutes (the Michael Buble getaway eight)

Morning! Im currently sitting beside a beautiful lake, half of which has iced over. As the ripples of the non-iced part of the lake move towards me it looks like the ice is moving like a dancing leaf on water. Theres a swan doing ‘swan things’, a couple of brent geese and to my amazement there two pairs of great northern divers. The males seem quite feisty, chasing each other around the water. Ducks are odd, they’ve never been a  favourite of mine because they are incredibly predictable. Im more interested in seeking out the little wren I can hear somewhere in front of me!

Ive been I nnorth Yorkshire for about two days now. This is the second of my 3 full days here and so far my mind has been a lot clearer. Im happy sitting and writing, im happy reading my book inbetween conversations with people at the bar. Right now I feel like I have nothing and everything at the same time. I suppose you don’t need anything when you have everything you need (turns out all I need is to relax, I really should listen to frankie!)

This lake really reminds me of the broads in winter. Its peaceful (apart from three ww2 fighters flying over), there is no-one about, it feels wild, and best of all…….relaxing. I loved working on the broads. You could go at your own pace, no boss, no desk, and best of all, your toilet was always outside (peeing outside is actually amazing). While you weren’t busy at work you would sit down for lunch by the fire you had made, yet you’d be colder than when you were working, you’d have your two flasks, soup and coffee! If you were with someone you could chat about almost anything you wanted, after all, if that person is working outside on the marshes you are almost guaranteed to have a lot in common. Ooooo, I just realised im not the only human here. A dog and its human are over the other side of the lake taking a walk.

The only thing spoiling where I am right now is me forgetting not to talk to myself, oh, and it’s a bit chilly on my bum because im sitting on frozen ground, oh well, it’s a small price to pay. I will however start walking again, and the lady and her dog just passed behind me.

Im now writing with gloves on so I don’t know how much ill actually get written. Ive never liked wearing gloves so writing in them isn’t ideal.

I seem to have found my way to another lake. Im currently sitting in shelter underneath a redwood. This lake is definitely a shooting lake. Rhododendrons line the edge, and the gaps in the trees surrounding the lake are perfect for shooting. Ah, my granny will be pleased, I just met my third and fourth beddy whippet crosses while ive been away, none are as handsome as ted! (my best dog friend, and my grandparents dog). Anyway, this lake is smaller, completely iced over like a green mirror. I can hear a buzzard above me. Its quite eerie here. There is no wildlife to be seen, just that haunting call of the buzzard above. All of this makes it seem colder, the atmosphere is ice. In fact im enjoying the eeriness of this lake because im hearing things I hardly ever hear. I can hear the cracking ice atop the water, the howling wind rushing past conifer trees and the occasional twig falling from a tree onto the pine needle covered ground. Theres beauty in everything, even those things that scare you (yes, even mental illness).

I was wrong about the lack of wildlife by the way as there seems to be a flock of siskins having a meal in the alder tree in front of me as it over hangs the reflective green ice. As soon as I spot them they go, the pages of my journal blowing in the wind have scared them off.

I wonder if, when I get back home I should start volunteering on the broads again. From what I wrote at lake one I think the wilderness would do me some good. And as an added bonus id probably lose all the weight ive been gaining again. Ive just had a memory pop up of a time when me and one other colleague were trying to get to a location on the broads no one had been to in nearly three hundred years. Its was incredibly difficult! We were doing some water ecology research and our boat got stuck after going about ten metres down a dyke in about an hour. We got out and then tried walking on a carpet of vegetation on top of an expanse of water. We would occasionally put our feet through the vegetation by accident and end up with a welly full of water, but we quickly realised we could use these holes as places to take readings of the water. I know I loved working on the broads, and I know I cant pinpoint all the good memories, but I know they are there somewhere, and I definitely had fun times. In the time I worked as a volunteer/employee/self-employed on the broads it was the most content I have ever been with myself.

Im going to walk back now. Talk to you in the warmth of the pub!

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