Pleasant Places

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Pleasant Places
Old stone pits with veined ivy overhung
Wild crooked brooks o’er which was rudely flung
A rail and plank that bends beneath the tread
Old narrow lanes where trees meet overhead
Path stiles on which a steeple we espy
Peeping and stretching in the distant sky
And heaths o’erspread with furze blooms’ sunny shine
Where wonder pauses to exclaim ‘divine’
Old ponds dim-shadowed with a broken tree –
These are the picturesque of taste to me
While paintings winds to make compleat the scene
In rich confusion mingles every green
Waving the sketching pencil in their hands
Shading the living scenes to fairey lands

John Clare

13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864

B & W Blakemere

Delamere Forest gets very busy as weekends and school holidays.  There was a time when, by taking a bit of a detour, I could delude myself that it was “on the way back home” from work. Those were the days when I would have been able to take my dog, Simcha, with me to work, and we could take in an evening stroll round the mere as the sun began to set.  That’s when I enjoyed it most, after the crowds had gone.  There are several car parks scattered around the Forest, plus a visitor’s centre and café, somewhere to hire bikes, a tree-top zip-wire adventure trail and a small but fully functioning railway station.  So, on Sunday it gets very busy indeed!

So I arrived as soon as the car park gates opened on a foggy bank holiday. I had the car park to myself.  By the time I left, three hours later, the car park was beginning to fill up with the usual bank holiday hoards. A walk round the mere should take about 90 minutes, unless you have a three-legged sheltie with you, in which case it takes twice as long.  But I have learnt that a walk is not a race and to stop and sniff, sorry, I mean stop and see more closely what surrounds me.

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