A walk around Goscote…

You may have seen some of the walks we’ve posted before here: ‘walks’.  Unlike the other walks, if you live in Goscote, this involves no car.

We tend to say, there’s no nice walk around Goscote, you need to drive somewhere, but actually, there is.

Below is a simple 7 miler, that circles around Wreake Valley School pass by The Gate Hangs Well pub (after a swift half) , up the River Wreake pass the Beedles Lake Golf Course, skirt Ratcliffe on the Wreake, pass Reasby Mill Cottage, through Reasby (another swift half), and back through Goscote.

You can cut it short if you use Broome Lane to cut off the Rearsby/Ratcliffe bit if you want.

Yes, there are a few cow and sheep fields, there will be mud if it’s been raining and at the height of growth there may be some nettles to pass by, but that’s all part of walking in the great out doors I guess.

Happy walking!


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Another walk we extended recently is below. This one’s about 8 miles, and circles from Barrow-upon-Soar, along the Rover Soar, through Mountsorrel, around Buddon Wood Quarry, skirting Swithland Reservoir, through Quorn and back to Barrow.

Both of these walks are right on our doorstep (for those who live here) and have some beautiful aspects. You will never find them if you don’t venture forth.

Like reading, fresh air and ‘the natural’ can be good for you. Search wild, nature…


Check out if where there’s a load of free tracks already checked and mapped.


Simply, a walk…

It’s that time of year again. Last March we posted a Spring walk. This week we did our first ramble of 2017.

Nothing difficult, simply a round walk along The River Soar from Barrow to Mountsorrel, up the mound, and back down to The Waterside for an anniversary ale (13 years), and then there’s The Navigation for another on your return (site of our first date).

I have recently been reading, watching and listening to more stuff that reinforces Ezra Bayda’s “What happens when we slow down and pay attention? Everything! Innumerable delights are right at hand.”

It’s coming to the end of Lent and although I have not been able to focus on it this year, a few nuggets have settled in the sands of uncertainty.

I’ve forgotten all I learnt in the desert.
I didn’t, as the guide advised, create notes.
So the soothing mirages we realised have melted.
Yes, nothing held back, nothing held onto.
Nothing, only breath.
And a hope for bird song in the privet.

Your conscious experience (reality) is really just an immediate memory.

Apostle Paul was “reasoning with Jews in the synagogue and Greeks in the marketplace about {stuff}” Acts 17:17
Reason, not abstract concepts.

“the mind, like the feet, works at about 3mph … modern life is moving faster than the speed of thoughtfulness”

“You don’t perceive things as they are, you perceive things as you are…”

“Beauty is the discovery that objects are not objects; love is the discovery that others are not others.“ Rupert Spira

“Perhaps the way we do anything is the way we do everything”

“We humans prefer a managable complexity to an unmanageable simplicity” Fr Bruno Barnhart

“…and I am lucky enough to know that I am in the Midst” Barbara Brown Taylor

…there is a wholeness which lies on the other side of ego, where we can learn to rest assured … to know “for the first time” a “second innocence”… a simplicity that takes us beyond the simplistic. (Brian Draper)
“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Words; midst, rebuke, becalm

There are some other walks we’ve done here if you’re interested: Walks


Simple round walk. #freshair required.

DSC_0048xSo we needed to get out and what better way than to look for an easy round walk in the country.

We’ve posted round walks before {three round walks}, and this one came from the same source –

Leicestershire’s has a good selection of easy yellow-posted (LOL) round walks. Check out their Local Walking Guides

This one’s just down the road from us: Walk Leaflet

Twyford – Thorpe Satchville – Ashby Folville – Twyford.

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It’s about 5 miles and takes 2 or 3 hours at an under 10 year-old’s pace.  Not including the pub at half-way, Ashby {Take as long as you like!}

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We track our walks with a mobile phone GPS app, the route can be downloaded from here: TwyfordWalk GPX Co-ordinates

You can use an app like ViewRanger to follow GPX coordinate routes or even make your own.

If you have any you can recommend in Leicestershire and surrounds, let us know!

Bike Uncategorized

We cycle to know we are not alone…

As you know I cycle. However (bear with me),  cycling as a sport is not my thing. I don’t find the spin and whirl of the latest chrome or carbon gadgets specifically exciting, I don’t find the latest audacious audax or spritely sportif of interest, “different chevaux for different courses” I guess.

Cycling for me is a way of travelling, getting from a to b, but also it can be a catalyst to seeing the world and your place in it in a new way. Not easy to summarise, it’s essentially an ongoing experience, but over the last year or so I have discovered a few notable (and readable) cycling related reads.

One of my first finds was “The Bicycle Book” by Bella Bathurst.

It’s a great read on the essence of the bike and bicycling. I’d suggest an essential starter.

“What is it about the bicycle that so enchants us? And why do its devotees become so obsessed with it?
A journey through cycling’s best stories and strangest incarnations. A brilliantly engaging portrait of cycling’s past, present and…”


It’s all about the bike” by Rob Penn was another good read.

A great enthusiastic study and search for the best in cycling without overdoing the technical.
“the bike’s story, from its cultural history to its technical innovation to the fascinating colourful stories of the people who ride it…. with humor, humility, and authoritative intelligence… a rare and precious portal to the heart and soul of bike culture and its surprising footprint on all of culture”

Recently found, and I’m still reading, a lighthearted but enlightening read “The Enlightened Cyclist“.


Making me smile and think…
“Discussing the trials and triumphs of bike commuting with snark, humor, and enthusiasm: If we become better commuters, will that make us better people?”

It’s great when you find the reading of books build on each other. Indeed, when unrelated books enforce each other and start to agree and colour a picture in your mind, then life can seem more real.
In “Shadowlands” we imagine C S Lewis “we read to know we are not alone”.
I suggest we also can cycle to know we are not alone.


Incidentally, TBB borrowed from the local library, IAATB and TEC via KoboBooks.
I guess the drawback to readers of the ebook paradigm shift is that I can’t lend you the book to read…! ?
*** Incidentally, 5 years on and I read real books, the e-reader needs charging ***


Zzzzzombie like tendencies?

Triggered by an article I read recently in ‘Australia’s most widely-read bike magazine’ Ride On, about cycling with earphones… I just had to comment!
Ride On states that they find that “ear-bud earphones set at a reasonable volume still allow riders to clearly hear the warning sounds of other riders.”
I just had to comment. What a ridiculous article! As one comment put: “Safety when riding is paramount and the only person who loses in bike/car accidents is the cyclist. Music covers up sound and distracts…” I agree.
Sorry but I am a cyclist and did previously use earphones daily… since Feb this year I have not and will not wear them while cycling.
Ride On’s claim that when using earphones you can still hear other sounds is a probable fact, but in doing this they are foolishly promoting the activity of earphone use while cycling.

I purport that the act of journeying is or should be an interactive activity. The addition of audio-entertainment to such activity is dangerous or at least restrictive. Whether in a car, on a bike or by foot the use of earphones inhibits the potential for interaction with the world. Yes, indeed, this could lead to potential incident with other road users but more importantly it leads to an insular, individualistic culture and the AA’s zombie like tendencies. It leads to an “us and them” attitude and not “humanity”…
The AA has has urged cyclists and pedestrians – and drivers – to pay attention to the road  [the journey] rather than be distracted by music. Edmund King, president of the AA, also commented on the Injury Prevention study, saying:
“We can’t stop the march of technology but we need to halt the iPod pedestrian, cycle and driver zombies.  Whether on two feet, two wheels or four, too many people are suffering from iPod oblivion.
“When on the move our brains have much to take in and using technological gadgets means that our brains can’t always concentrate on so many things at once This is when we walk into traffic; don’t hear the truck or drive cocooned from the outside world.
“The US research suggests that this problem may be growing so we all need to use common sense to ensure that technological cocooning doesn’t endanger our lives or the lives of others.

I have commented before about our attitude as road-users and indeed a general social attitude. Unless I’m mistaken, an ignorance is a key trait here. Ignorance is bliss?
Considering our use of cultural opiates (in the sense of anything that causes dullness or inaction or that soothes the feelings). We all imbibe stuff that will colour our perception, some more than others.  The radio, a podcast, music, TV, food, art, knowledge, and other stimulants/sedatives (as well as coffee and cheese) can all be stimulating and creative, however they can also act as a distracting eclipse and induce ignorance.

When journeying with or past others, i think it’s best to aim for an open mind and a considerate perception.
We all too readily ignore that which is beyond our perception or conception. We all enjoy a moment of bliss? But not while we are journeying with and past others!
Music can be a distracting eclipse and induce ignorance. The ignorant might excuse themselves with the notion of innocence?
Ignorant? innocent? bliss? contentment? enchantment? joy? beatitude? well-being…
Heaven help us all!?


A walk in t’woods…


whipping to submission…

A friend commented recently “Everywhere we look nowadays, someone has intruded some advertising message – as often as not, full of carefully crafted deceit and manipulation”“Specifically those little ads that get placed on roundabouts, a constant nagging ‘Look at me! Remember my name! Write down my phone number’, when you’re supposed to be watching the traffic or, if you’re in the passenger seat, you’re admiring the flowers and shrubs…”.  I was minded to add “‎…or you’re on your bike, arguably ‘more-aware’ of your place in things and watching out for distracted drivers with encapsulated passengers… (trying not to be sucked in to the lycra-gofaster-nutritionbar cycling sub-culture… )”

the road

As I cycled in this morning… drivers were pressing to “get past” and to “get there faster”… the majority of traffic follows the flow but a significant percentage just can’t get there fast enough. I encounter people either gripping the wheel and whipping the car to submission, or casually driving with abandon and carelessness ignorant of others’ position and need.
Drivers are not the only culprits, cyclists too sometimes just can’t wait, jumping lights or slaloming around pavements. Also pedestrians; dodge cars while crossing busy roads (with kids in tow) only yards from a crossing.  Like the proverbial lemmings it seems only too easy to be sucked together towards the void…
“Not I” I hear you say? We’ll it took me a long while to wake up to a different reality. And it takes a regular refreshing to remind one of perspectives and attitudes that can so easily be warped by the constant nagging “look at me” etc.

A wise person once said “life’s not about finding yourself, but about creating yourself”.
I’d mould that to remind us that life’s not about getting somewhere, but can be about being.
Looking for something results in finding stuff.
Creating being, might result in being found?


“Chocolate in the Rain”

But thankfully, I’m reminded of more…

There was nowhere to sit, but I sat anyway. I’d been told of the beauty that surrounded me and indeed it was full of wonder (wonderful), all be it xxing wet and cold and raw as rope.
My feet inside my boots were sodden, I could feel my toes squelching as I stood in a stream, the whole hillside was in effect a stream, the weather seemed to be coming from the ground as well as the sky, I had to just let it happen.
The clouds had come in and the only reason l had any hope was I knew where I was heading – North East, and my compass told me that NE was towards the pile of rocks just in view through the foggy rain 50 yards ahead. I ate chocolate in the rain. Salty rain.
That’s how I remember it. A wonderful saturating experience. Saturating in that the cold, the purple, grey and green, the rock, wind and stream, and me and my thoughts were all that there was.

‘‘Railway Station”
The man on the table next to me reminded me of this, he was alone, as far as I could see, he was cherishing his slice of ginger-cake and his mug of coffee (‘Caribbean Extra Smooth’ £1.05 to take away) was coming to a satisfying end. The commuters sat between a day’s work and home. At work today we learnt how Ian had passed away. He was a good chap, down to earth, always had a word to say in passing. His lad is about to start college and his wife has just started a new job at the hospital. We’ll never see him again. His aura was somehow in the ginger-cake man and it made me smile. The rain outside melting down the steamy window was making my chocolate seem extravagantly tasty.

“Chocolate in the rain”
Lofty hills and misty mountains, frosty veins of rains sooth the mighty old mountains as they sit like old dogs front the hearth, old books sleeping on the shelf as they proudly circus their spines, like God with arms folded and eyes deep with lore. The mountains let me pass through, wind and rain do their best to keep me back and get me down, I’m not turning back. If may be miles ahead but that’s where I’m going. The old guardians let me through and so will you. Not stopping for tyrants, not stopping for lies, not stopping for thieves with money, not stopping for an ugly view, not stopping for badly brewed pleasures, not stopping for insignificant treasures… a cup o’ tea waits for me and a pint of Black Sheep to send me to sleep. Through lofts of mist, past mighty excess, through mists of envy and doubt, past lofty statues to a glorious myth, illuminating the pathway where people sleep through mighty mountains, just a break for chocolate in the rain.

All the discomfort: The lights, the voices, the people and places, children and push chairs and phones and clones all to easily lost in the blur of the day, blinded by the fog. Easy to lose sight of the colours that can be bright and the view that’s clear. Even when the sun seems to shine, it’s easy going, still wonderful yet there’s not much to say about it except thankfully I’m reminded of more or less. I think…

That’s how I remember it anyway.

© Jules Richards – 1999


Joy! Warm and satisfying? Cool and fuzzy?

We made time today just to chill – we took ourselves and the kids to Bradgate for a stroll. Just walking in the fresh air was a great tonic against the noise of ‘daily stuff’.
With the kids it can be* easy to make any simple thing into an adventure (*given opportunity – but that’s another story). An unplanned portion of cake and a coffee helped halfway round!
Just sitting watching how the kids are growing into little people with ideas and characters of their own is grounding. Emma asked “can you see the deer?!” and P said “yes, I need a beer!” (not sure where that came from).
The clarity of the autumnal sky is striking. The seasonal adaption of nature; shrinking, slowing, fading – the moderation from the ornamentation of summer can be cleansing.
Back home we had a quick look back at some home-movie of A&P from a few years back and were reminded of the miracle of growth, and the blessings of shared experience.
Perhaps it’s difficult to summarise feelings of joy? It’s seems to be not an objective incident but a fleeting human feeling or thought that can either be embraced or ignored? Let’s just say; if you hear a breath, absorb it; if you see a wisp, grab hold of it; if you receive anything, share it, somehow!
Joy and life will not last – if it’s real, then after blooming, it may well eventually relax and rest back for a new awakening with someone else, at another time, in another place.
The tides of Mount’s bay and a private Camelot will always come and go, at least in my mind they will. It’s miraculous how they can be ‘felt’ over high fields in Charnwood. Count your blessings, name them one by one…

My only concern is that this joy seems a selfish experience, and is often not shared with others. That’s what’s missing… I feel that light, when kept to oneself is not true light but darkness. If it cannot be seen then it will not rejuvenate, it may as well die.
Ooops slipped, this post was intended to be a positive post.
Had a good walk amongst blue sky today! Hope you have too.
Happy days!