Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Countryside Markers

Today I hiked into the countryside to find a old site to take a water sample. Across the very warm January morning, bright sunshine strewn down on to me. Wearing a fleecy jacket as a layer more than a polo shirt, the first comfy warm air of after Christmas rained down.

Though I was very much alone, the narrowness of the path between the twiggy low branches prickling my legs made it clumsy and overbearing a route to cross. When I arrived at the waypoint the stream passed narrow and over crowded in broadleaf tree's empty of leaves, the grass just poking up amongst the roots. The stream crossed in front where I planned to take the sample, the foot path going over on a long narrow wooden bridge turning sharply right on the other side, disappearing as a narrow track amongst the tree's and grassy shrub.

I crossed and looked back down the stream. It was all of four foot across but deep enough to drown in and lose a bag or a body. Looking back out from the tree line to the other side the open field was established and disappeared long over the way to the next hedge row, a small house stood to the far side opposite to the corner from which I came and now stood. The barns from the track down.

The route that I had taken reminded me of sampling nears back, hiking way across the Peak District. Past the bridge a low barbed wire snare was dangling across the stream. This instantly gave me a strange feeling that I had walked back in time to when their was the old Vietcong, setting up booby traps amongst the tracks.

The knowing watch amongst the tree's, the paranoid aspect of troops hiding, dug in waiting for someone to trip up into it, as someone moved down the stream, or was it there for an incredibly small boat?


Later on in the day, I saw a tractor making its way down the road, it was returning back up the road as I pulled in to my next stop. I left wondering if he took the tractor to the shop as the driver had a pre-packed sandwich, promptly opening it, partially leaning on the steering wheel to keep 'control' over the tractor. Only in the sunny January warmth would you have seen that happen, it was something out the peak of the summer holiday madness. He had no care, and believed his sandwich could drive him down the road. This was very funny at first glance, why would a tractor driver have a packed sandwich to hand? As it bumbled up the road so the driver took a bite.

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