Hermitage Park

Cabin Fever.  My natural inclination to 'nest' can sometimes mean days go by without my ever leaving this flat.  It's not good for me.  Any resolutions I might have made with regard to a daily walk are easy to sweep aside when it's raining, or my leg hurts, or there's simply too much to do.  There's never simply too much to do.  Eventually the call of a breeze on my face can't be ignored any longer and I have to venture out, find a reason; something more than  "I want to be outside" which never quite seems reason enough.


I found myself needing to be near trees.  I miss my old haunts in the village where I could be alone on a beach or in under branches within minutes of leaving my house.  Here, I have the water and I'm grateful for it, but no solitude.  There are always cars, lorries, people.  There is always the whumwhumwhum of a restaurant's extractor fan, the thwumpthwumpthwump of the shows on the pier, laughter, shouting, doors slamming, engines revving and only almost overpowering the base beat of some indeterminate techno.  It's only when the wind is up so much that it's the only thing left to hear that any of it is drowned out.  I miss sitting on a slightly damp patch of sand, nobody to see me, listening to the gentle slap of the Clyde where it meets the shore, the rustle of the air as it moves the leaves in the trees behind me, the call of the birds.  I don't hear birds any more.  


On a positive note, when I started out on my saunter around the shops, my knee gave no trouble.  I had heard at the Summer Festival that parts of the park were open again and so I headed there, hopeful that I would find some respite.  I'd not been there two minutes before I met Jean Catherine.   I don't know her surname and I don't actually know if she spells her middle name that way either but it seems unlikely that it would be the same as mine somehow. I must ask her if I see her again.  I would guess that she was in her late 70s.  She told me that she had spent the last fifty years living in America and we discussed our impression of the state of that nation.  She told me she is 'a progressive' rather than merely a 'liberal'.  We agreed that it is a broken country, but I can't in all honesty say it is alone in that. 

I like meeting strangers and talking to them.  Usually it's a one-off, but as we parted, Jean suggested that we might meet again, if we were both frequent users of the park.  I think I would quite like that. 


Alone again, I returned to my usual habit of photographing my surroundings.  The park is in turmoil as the renovations are carried out, and only a small portion is available to walk.  There's something about its state of unreadiness that appeals though and so what probably should have taken merely minutes ate up a good hour and a half of the afternoon.  I enjoyed myself.  I will enjoy repeating the exercise and look forward to seeing the park in a more finished state, although, I have to wonder if I will find as much to interest me.