My writing friends were talking about this and that, and I can’t quite remember now how we came to think about this except it may have been that one of us leads geological and historical walks. He finds a trail which demonstrates a certain something and off he goes with his followers (having walked it on his own first of all and planting where he would go and what he would say) I said he ought to lead one and at the end people would sit down with a cup of tea or a picnic or a pint of beer and write something inspired by the walk – not necessarily about the walk.
I’m not a great walker – by that I mean I don’t go off and do a ten-mile yomp, I’m more of a four mile saunter really – and that’s about my limit! It’s my limit because i don’t particularly enjoy the actual process of walking but I do enjoy what I can see while walking – so no walking for walking’s sake!
I’ve been thinking about this, and when we were exploring the Avalon Marshes yesterday I thought how ideal would that be as an inspirational stroll! I’ve been thinking some more and our little village could be a real inspiration for writers. Part of the idea would be the exchange of ideas as people are walking along, things which are noticed and observed, using the senses – all the senses not just sight. I think such a walk would be best with someone to talk about the route, the history as well as the geology my friend would be able to explain!
Uphill is now a very peaceful place, the only sounds are vehicles, voices, sometimes music from the pubs, cows on the hill, birds – everything from flocks of chattering sparrows, baby jackdaws, pigeons of various sorts, crows, blackbirds, unidentified tweets and warbles, and seagulls, everywhere seagulls. In the past however, there would have been noises from the wharf – and different noises going back to the times of the Romans. There used to be a quarry so there would have been explosives, drilling, rock-breaking, vehicles – horse-drawn of course!
The village is now mainly residential, a few businesses – two pubs, a newsagent and village shop, hairdressers, tea-room, restaurant, physiotherapist, sign writer, but in the past there were dairy farms, fishermen, smugglers and their nemesis the coastguards and revenue men, butchers and bakers (not sure about candles!) – in fact it was a typical small Somerset village.
Going back into its earliest history, a writing walk could go up onto what was a neolithic settlement, look back at the quarry where formerly the hillside had cliffs where both humans and animals sheltered, Different tribal people lived here, the Romans came, maybe even Jesus came, the Vikings and Danes and Saxons and the Normans came… think of the different tongues!
Up on the hill or down on the water meadows here is such a variety of wild life, common place and rare, and being by the sea the light has a different quality…
Yes, there’s plenty to see, hear, imagine, thin and then write about!