Friday, 20 May 2016

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air;
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit's care
We've been friends for sometime now, haven't we?  In that case I think it is about time I showed you around my office.
Well, not the boring parts of the office. The bits that are a hop, skip and a rabbit jump away and at this time of year, simply glorious. You could not pay me to work in London at the moment when I have all this mere minutes from my desk.
Steve bought me a Fitbit about a month ago, and it has been encouraging me (quite literally; the thing buzzes at me every time it thinks I have moved enough recently) to get up and get going.  This, combined with the need to hit 10K steps a day, and the fact that the weather has suddenly become warm(er) and sun(nier) have all combined to mean that I have been using my lunch breaks as an opportunity to get out and explore the glorious countryside that surrounds my campus, and in some cases, still very much part of the campus.
Much as Bronte said in her poem, I have also found that these walks amongst the bluebells and wildflowers have had a deeply relaxing effect on me.  They are a wonderful de-stresser, helping me to focus and breath deep, great gulps of fresh air, inhaling the sweet scents of hawthorn and cherry blossom that litter the pathways.  When I have returned to the office, I have been much more focussed and productive, and I am also sleeping better at night.
Amazingly, although all of this is right there on our doorsteps, most students and staff don't even realise it exists as, for the most part, you access it by either going off the footpaths or behind buildings.
I have to say though, as far as lunchtime strolls go, it doesn't get much better than bluebell woods, wildflower meadows and sweeping views of the Cathedral.
There are secret cubby holes made out as fairy glades where people can pull up a quiet mushroom and get stuck into a book.
Great old trees just begging to be climbed
Glades and secret pools where ducks snooze contentedly, unless disturbed by one of the hundreds of wild rabbits that litter the hillside.
Places that remind me of one of my favourite paintings at the Tithe barn exhibition
Bluebell woods transforming the secret walks into a sea of gently waving shades of blue.
I've been walking the paths every lunch break for the last month, and I am still finding new trails, new pathways and new secrets to unlock, each adventure lasting just long enough to have me back at my computer just as my lunch break is over.
Will you have a lunchtime adventure next week?