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Monday, August 25, 2008

Creamery Road and the River; Long Time No See

Watching the Olympics is great, I love watching certain sports and their competitors, like athletics, swimming, snooker, cycling, (mostly for the landscapes!) and the regatta sports such as rowing, and too many others to list. Therefore, Francis was really surprised when I said I was getting out; my excuse was a birthday card for my mother, which needed posting before 2.10pm when the mail leaves the village for further frontiers. The rain had stopped for the day and the Sun stood high in the sky to lure me from the athletic track and field activities. The tide was out and had not even reached its lowest point yet, so going to the bay would be a waste of time and I wanted to stay closer to home somehow. I just wanted to do a quick tour.
Besides, with the first BirdAtlas finished, in which I had concentrated on the bay and the two western backroads leaving the village along the peninsula, it was time I started to look at the other, east/northern side of the village. Mind you, most of the routes out into these directions are inaccessible because these are too busy with cars. Or they pass over a range of hills where the roads are really too narrow. One of these climbs up from the COI and thus our previous home. I’ve done that road more than 10 years ago, but not only is it very steep, and it had made me dizzy, also, the people living on top, are always aware of their neighbour’s daily schedule, and would not expect my wheels. Besides, there were no good verges for me to move to the edge. A deep drain, yes, that was on either side. It is a real pity, yet I shouldn’t dwell upon it, and get on with it.

It had also been about 8-10 years since I’d done the Creamery road. It was time that I started following the river again from the village. In contrast to the river at our previous home, Riverside Cottage, this one is freshwater, unlike the tidal river which surrounds riverside on two sides.
This river, the main one in and around the village, is also the source for our mains. After moving into our council house, eight years ago, I had great trouble getting used to the drinking water of the village. We’d had a well until then, which we used for drinking mostly. For cooking, cleaning and the bathroom we used rainwater, until the last 7 years or so when we used this for drinking too.

The road was not as I remembered any more:
I used to go on along this road for about 5 minutes and then, where the narrow road turns to the left, I’d follow a track where a friend of us used to live. Like with so many friends, she lived in a marvelous house, however totally inaccessible to my wheels and with good weather we’d sit outside with the youngest of her 6 children, and have a chat and a cuppa. These days she lives behind in the last stage of the council estate. These houses have extra wide doors downstairs, a downstairs’ {cramped!} toilet following the new building regulations. This means that even with bad weather I can go and call in, literally!
The hedgerow had a totally different set up and feel than those going out west from the village. One of the three shopowners, Eugene Wiseman, who has the Hardware Store, also has one of the three Open Gardens in the direct area of the village. (Yes, you guessed it! All totally unsuitable to wheels) Between Eugene’s shop and the bridge, Eugene uses a small patch for storage of his Garden and other supplies. A little further is another one of these, left going wild, and here Loosestrife, Montbretia, Nettles and Bramble had spread out. I made a mental note to ask Colin, Eugene’s son, about it and see if I can find enough ‘hardened’ surface to get as far as the other side. I’m still looking for a spot from where I can see the river. There is a lot of high growth, but I might be able to see something. Eugene is mostly involved with his garden these days and more or less retired, and lucky enough to have a son willing to stay in such a small community instead of being attracted by the big cities, The UK or the US, to which most of the younger people have been lost.

Among the Loosestrife a Bee was humming away and a Robin said looking down at me from the branch of a lovely young Ash. I looked at the Robin, then across the other side of the road, the river and fields, up to the hill and wondered whose Robin was he anyway? I sat talking to it for the next 5-10 minutes; about the same conversations I have with my Robin, back home. It could easily be one of mine.
However, the saying that every house has its own Robin, would contradict this way of thinking. And I should respect the Robin for who s/he is. A bird in its own right. Even if I could see the garden with the great Scot’s Pine where my Chaffinches had been nesting this, and last year.

Once past the old (and now closed too) Creamery, a few dilapidated houses were growing into the background.

With so many Wild Carrots on the other side of the village, which I had taken for a (Giant) Hogweed, at first, I was curious if on this side, where the river is freshwater, these same Wild Carrots are just as abundant. Well, not really. I did see one very large one, of about 1.50m. at least, And Catherine’s message on the BGB forum stuck in my head. Its stalk was the perfect size for making whistles and it was far too wide for using as pea-shooter at school. It was sitting back a little from the road and I decided that I would go on for a little while, before returning and taking its picture. After awhile I thought I started feeling the spray of the river on my left, until it dawned on me that I should have felt a similar spray earlier on. Only then did I start to realise that I was caught in a shower of drizzle. And as with most of these showers, they do have the tendency to increase the volume of drops very soon. And indeed, before long I was Turning around, and increasing my speed as I traveled back along the same road. And while riding back, I made a mental map of all the plants and Flowers I had intended to photograph on the way back, plus others which I spotted only now.
It dried up soon again, and the Sun broke through, showing blue sky with some clouds above me. I came upon the old Creamery, which now stands lonely and forlorn at the side of the road; yet opposite this building was another, much smaller which had caught my eye.
A little new ‘hut’, which seems to be the council’s office for the waterworks and the river. By the time I was home I was drenched again and Francis had the door open already, which is even more embarrassing than coming home soaked to the bone and very very cold!
However I'm glad I went, I'd been planning to go there for so long! And I might only have seen a family of Jackdaws when I came back in the family. (with all tourists wondering who is the crazy one, me talking to so called 'Junior' JD in the planter or themselves believing they saw this woman in wheels talking to a JD) a Rook, a Robin and Swallows, but then I had been rushing on my way back which is bad for your eyesight. And I had only just reached the interesting part of the road!

JuniorCoal TitGreat TitFeasting of House Sparrows on PeanutcakeMeadowsweet with "Male"? or "Lady"? Fern,Daddy Long LegsBee in the gardenMystery MothLoosestrife and MontbretiaRobin on Eugene's Wild PatchAnother BeeEugene's Open Garden,Council Office


  1. Once again a wonderful read. Love the pictures.

  2. Thanks, Crow. It started as a good day; coming home however I had a horrible find.
    My little juvenile Wren was lying dead on the path.

    (our cat had been asleep in her box with OH. during my trip, so another one must have stalked it.) I really miss it.

  3. Hi Yoke, I thought I'd return the complement and look at your blog. Great stuff, and as you say being disbled doesn't stop you. I'll look forward to more postings, and if okay will link you to my blog. More pictures of Junior please.... I'm a crow man. BR

  4. Yeah, more pictures of Junior, I'm a crow woman, lol. So sorry to hear about the little wren.

  5. OK Guys, I've asked corporation from Junior himself in order to get these pictures.
    Reiver, I'm glad you like him. He's a charmer he is and a real character too.

    Trouble was that for some time now, Junior has resorted to pacing to and fro on the wall. And often in the afternoons when my camera faces the Sun directly. so pictures are then hard to get.
    Only today did I manage to get a few more photos of our dearest subject. And as you may have guessed, Reiver, I'm a Crow person too. Since I had a Black Crow calling into my room as a child. Through the open window. He appeared every day for a long time, and was oh so cute.


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