….me and my dusted off Asolos are somewhere in Peak District National Park.  My itinerary goes something like this:

Saturday:  Train ride to big city east of the park.  Find  B&B.  Drop bags.  Catch bus to small village in middle of park, do a 6 mile one-way hike to another small village.  From there, take train back to big city.  Drink tea.  Clean up.  Go see Ray Lamontagne, Josh Ritter and Priscilla Ahn in concert.  Write about it.  Sleep.

Sunday:  Wake up, eat full English breakfast.  Take train to a different small village in the middle of the park.  Walk 12 miles to another small village.  Find hostel.  Get tea.  Explore little village.  Sleep.

Monday:  Wake up, do an easy 3 mile loop around small village.  Catch bus to big city.  Take train back to Cambridge.

Here’s a picture of what I hope to see:

Oh yeah.

Caught the sunset at my favorite wheat field two weeks ago.  To get there, I ride the bike down a road about 1.5 miles from our house.  Then I turn right at the footpath/bridleway marked “Wimpole Way”.  This path is lined with blackberries and fences.

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I know there are probably lots of other wheat fields, but this one is my favorite because it’s the first one I stumbled upon.  I wandered down the Wimpole Way and gasped when it opened up with a clear path straight through it to the other side.  I ran as fast as I could.

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Sadly, the wheat/rye (I’m not quite sure what it was…) had been harvested since the last time I came.  This was the first sunny, warm evening since the fateful bike fainting day- when the 82 degree sun and cloudless sky lit up the wheat fields on my train ride home.  I am sad I missed this field in it’s full glory.

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I still managed to enjoy myself as I packed a snack of goat cheese, crackers and water.  I snagged a handfull of blackberries on my way into the field.  A little bit of recovered joy.  It was very peaceful.

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Today, I returned for run to find my favorite field again changed.  The entire field was turned over- tilled up clods of dirt made passage impossible.  I had to go all the way around the edge.  Thinking it over, every time I’ve been there is something drastically different about it.  One time it had rained the night before and my  normal path was a rich, manure laden sludge which stuck to my shoes adding a good 2-3 pound ankle weight to my run.  Each time I’ve been there, it is not what I’m expecting.  But it is still beautiful.  Part of the beauty is the newness and difference and change…and part of it is the fact it will return again next year.  I caught myself wishing I would be here to see it golden again.

I was reminded of Ecclesiastes:

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot…

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

And then I was just thankful for the fact I even saw it golden in the first place.

I went to London again this weekend.  My friend Suz was in town for a 36 hour layover on her way to Africa.  YEAH!  More on that with photos soon.

Instead of train, I took the bus home.  It was cheaper (5 pounds) and fun because I got to see parts of London I haven’t seen (i.e., the Olympic stadium and village which are under construction for 2012).

The only catch is you must buy your ticket the day before.  I chose an 8 PM departure, but was ready to head home by 6PM.  So, I went to the ticket counter and they wanted 11 pounds to change my ticket (twice the original cost!).  No dice.

So, I walked right up to the bus driver, showed him my “ticket” (which is on my phone because it was sent via text message).  Our conversation went something like this:

Bus Driver:  You know dear, your ticket is for 22:30.  You’re two hours early.

Me:  I know.  I just can’t get used to military time.  Is there any way I can take this bus?

Bus Driver (smiling, cheerfully):  Where are you taking it?

Me:  To Cambridge.

Bus Driver:  OH REALLY!?  You want to take THIS BUS to Cambridge?

Me:  Yes, is that possible? Can I take it?

Bus Driver:  You really want to take it?

Me:  (realising my poor grammar choice…laughing)  Actually, no, I do not want to take this bus ANYWHERE!  There is no way I could drive it!  May I ride the bus to Cambridge?

Bus Driver:  OF COURSE you may ride it.  I couldn’t let you take it though!

I hopped on.  The soundtrack for our first hour weaving through London was classically hilarious:

  1. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
  2. Waiting for a Star to Fall – Boy Meets Girl (i dare you to deny wanting to sing along to this one.  i had delusions of the entire bus bursting out in song…which made me laugh to myself.  which made me think people think i am weird… oh well!)
  3. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette  (sigh.)
  4. To the Moon and Back – Savage Garden (hellllo 1990s!)
  5. Pretty Woman- Roy Orbison
  6. News report on the Lockerbie Bomber.
  7. Heard it Through the Grapevine
  8. Kylie Minogue club mix.

It was then the magical hour of 7:30 when the sound on the bus is turned off.  The quiet was timed with our pulling onto the motorway and driving through the rolling hills of East Anglia.  Always nice to leave the city…