Forest Bathing or A Walk

Visiting my friend in the country before all this quarantine began, I took myself off to a midland Forest for an extended walk -( extended because I couldn’t find my way back to my car). My mind was searching for nature and fresh air. What used to be called a walk in the woods is now known as ‘Forest bathing’ becasue of the infusion of fresh air from the oxygen released from the trees.

It made me remember that swimming in the sea is now called ‘Nature Bathing’ or ‘Wild Swimming’ or something. While my mother made sure I learned to swim in a pool, she refused all her life to immerse herself in water that had chlorine in it. Taking the plunge in the sea was a regular thing for us and the best way to ‘get down ‘ in the icy water was debated hotly (forgive the pun) within the family.

Halfway through my walk, I felt the ‘call of nature’ – what would we do without euphemisms? , and it made me think how strange it was that noone had given the obeying of that call ‘en plein air’ a gritty, hipster title. ‘Wild Peeing’ comes to mind. Surely the freeing experience of hunkering down among the vegetation and making sure the flow does not go downhill and wet your feet deserves some lofty title., some daredevil, living on the edge descriptive catchphrase?

The phrase ‘ Keep Nicks’ was a well worn in our house among the females. The person with that job had to warn the person peeing that someone was coming and to hurry up. Why is it that such jolly traditions and activities have not been romanticised into a desirable, coming of age experience?

In days gone by, the back field outside a pub was the Lavatory or ‘Wild Peeiing’ location and as a gesture to the rare female who was allowed a glass of lemonade, the location was ‘Where the nettles were cut down’ as a gallant and gentlemanly gesture to the needs of female anatomies.

I digress. I want to share with you what I saw as well as what I thought about on my lengthy perambulation that day. For the moment, think Fallen Branches, Beech seeds with lofty ambitions and three separate encounters with dogs, each encounter as diverse as the dogs themselves. These adventures, as well as the chat I had with a horse or ‘Equine Interaction’ in modern speak will be developed and laid out in my next blog.

Until then, we all will be no more than 2km from a lavatory so I expect no immediate break through in the eulogising of ‘ Wild Peeing’.

Look Up

Sentinels of the Past

It seems like there is nothing that would surprise these gnarled yet stately trees who have witnessed thousands of campers since the Dionysus campsite opened over thirty years ago.

At its peak, the campsite was regularly host to 800 occupants. Now the advent of the all inclusive cut price holiday has drawn people away from camping.

The plus side is more space for those of us who still camp. And the people you meet are true travellers. Like the French couple in their late seventies. Travelled with their tents on their backs. He had life theories that were a complete philosophy. He refused to be called a philosopher. When I asked him why he replied because he did not write a book.

When I asked him why he did not write he replied because he experiences things and that is enough. Put me in my place.

The trees also do not make any commentary. Yet they have seen aeons of change around them. In their younger years, conquest by Venetians, Turks, English. Planted by Corfiots in return for an ample purse so that the lamps of Venice could shine throughout the dark nights of winter, lit by olive oil. Now they stand immense and bear witness silently. Shading travellers from the intense summer heat of July and August.

My home for three months on and off. The only sound at night besides the owl hooting continuously was the sound of an olive dropping on the caravan roof.