Nath Knits

and should probably be doing something else.

I go walkin’ – Day 129

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Chapel ceiling, Royal Naval College, Greenwich

I’ve been wondering why I’m not compelled to post so much lately, and I think what it boils down to is that, while life continues to be busy, I think we’ve settled down to a pretty normal-feeling, day to day existence.  Which is good.  I don’t want to feel like a tourist for an entire year, and everything can’t possibly feel like a magical voyage of discovery all the time, but on the other hand, I don’t want to feel like I’m squandering the opportunity I’m lucky enough to have.

Most of all, I miss work.  I loved being a homemaker (stay at home mum, whatever you prefer) when I had small children to take care of.  It’s less fun now.  I like having a purpose other than running my house.  And I feel like a bit of a heel for complaining, because who wouldn’t want to have a year off in an exciting new city??

It’s not all bad.  It’s not even very bad at all, and it’s not like I spend my whole day reading Facebook and eating bonbons.  Well, not the *whole* day.  I’m deep into a bread-baking kick, so I’m much more likely to be munching on sourdough potato-rosemary bread than bonbons anyway.  Speaking of sourdough, I can’t believe how easy it was to make some. And the bread is delicious, though it takes a good 36 hours to make a batch.  I’ve even started converting yeast recipes to use my sourdough, to mostly good success, though I do resort to yeast bread when I don’t plan ahead.  It’s great!  I love the result and the process.  And I’m going through those little 1.5 kg bags of flour like there’s no tomorrow.  I have to start buying larger quantities at a time.  Or, possibly, just eat less bread, already.

And that’s the thing.  This is giving me the time to develop skills, and go exploring, and actually work on figuring out what I want to do when I get back.  I’ve decided to up my IT skills a little and have learned Python. I haven’t done any real programming since university (html debugging and sql queries don’t really count), and it was nice to get back into it.  JavaScript is next.  Dr. Thingo has some easy web work I can do for him, and I’m proofreading (slowly.  Sorry!) a friend’s thesis.  So my brain isn’t completely turning to goo.

I applied to volunteer with the Greenwich museums.  My ‘induction’  is tomorrow (The word induction in this context makes me laugh.  It reminds me of childbirth. I’m assuming there will be less pain.), and I’m ridiculously excited, even though I know it will basically be pointing people to the loo and telling the kids to please not touch the displays.  Also, they made a big deal out of the fact that I have to be able to help out during an evacuation.

And the exploring has yielded some nice discoveries.  I’ve been doing a lot of walking.  I actually literally walked through my shoes and had to buy another pair.  I discovered the Thames Path, which is a national trail that goes the whole length of the south bank of the Thames, from the Thames barrier pretty much directly north of my house, to the Cotswolds, where the Thames’ source is.  In London, it’s 64 km long, and I’ve done about 20 so far, in two excursions.  The first time, I just started walking after dropping the kids off at school, and stopped in Greenwich about 10 km later (though it’s only about 3 km as the crow flies.  It’s a fairly winding path, being a river and all) and took the bus home.  The second time, I took the bus to where I left off, and continued from there.  For a big, developed city, there are plenty of beautiful places, and I love the juxtaposition of greenness and dense buildings.  I’d like to walk the length of the portion of it that is in London – I plan on going again on Friday.

The Path has some beautiful spots and sights:

Greenwich Ecological Park, next to the Greenwich Milennium Village.

Guy (you can just see his yellow reflective vest through the branches) sitting on his very fancy chair.

Now-disused dock, planted with mosses and grasses to encourage the ducks to come hang out.

Message left by somebody (not me) on the beach in front of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

Entrance to Blackheath Foot Tunnel (you can see where it comes out on the other side).

Surrey Docks Farm, near Deptford

Near the Canada Water tube station. There’s a hideous mall just to the left of this.

There are some less nice views too, especially closer to the Thames Barrier, which is a very industrial area.  A good chunk of the land near the path is under redevelopment.  You can walk right through the construction site in one place, and I was shocked to see a digger moving stuff from the site into the river, blocking the path.  There was a sign saying I needed to wait for a signal from the crane operator before passing by.  And that whole section of the trail was right next to a two-storey drop into the river, with no barriers or anything.  That kind of stuff would never fly in Canada.  Can you imagine the potential lawsuits?

That’s the digger I walked past.

Very picturesque quarry near the Thames Barrier.

We all went on another country walk a couple of weeks ago.  This one was in Kent – Otford, to be precise – which is a little closer.  It’s amazing to me that it only takes a 35 minute train ride out of a city of 8 000 000 to reach open countryside.

Sheep lawn mowers. For real. There was a sign saying to please keep the gates fastened behind us so that the sheep, which were brought in to maintain the grassland, don’t wander off.

This walk was shorter, and muddier, but with a better pub.

Ice rink in front of the Museum of Natural History

We’re about to enter into the usual December Madness.  Though, for once, it’s not my December that’s the maddest.  Zebula auditioned for a part in the chorus of a local Youth Theatre’s musical production of Treasure Island and got in, so she’s got 8 performances to look forward to in December (plus dress rehearsal).  She’s absolutely loving it!  With the choir, I have a concert, for which I sing a short solo (gulp!), on December 8th, and we’ll do some caroling later.  And my neighbourhood singing group is caroling on another day.  Surprisingly, there are no conflicts with any of that, even though Dr. Thingo will be in Waterloo for a week in December!

I hope your own December madness isn’t too mad!

(All the November photos are here, if you are so inclined)

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Author: nathknits

Mom, knitter, IT nerd, trying to make it all run smoothly.

4 thoughts on “I go walkin’ – Day 129

  1. I really loved this post, especially the first two paragraphs! I feel the same way, but I haven’t yet found “projects” to do like you have. I might have to try some bread-making, too. :)

    • I’ve always loved baking bread. For a while, in Waterloo, I was pretty consistent at making no-knead bread, but I find, now that I am taking the time, that I really like the kneading part.

      Projects are good. And I should probably set some firm goals, but still, I get to the end of the day and I wonder what I’ve accomplished.

  2. Patrick and I are currently making home made soda with a ginger bug starter -http://nourishedkitchen.com/ginger-bug/ – might be a fun addition to your sour dough project? our second batch of ginger soda was excellent, and we are going to try making rhubarb soda next.

    I would very much like to have lawn mowing sheep..

    • I like that it’s called a bug. Though I don’t know that I like soda enough to make any. I would like to have lawn mowing sheep too. BFLs, if possible.

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