Wellbeing Walk

How much contentment can you feel from one short walk to the post office? Well, a lot it would appear from my walk this morning.

After the £411.98 news from the garage to get the car past it’s MOT, a walk to post a parcel was just what I needed, though I didn’t have much choice other than to walk, having no car, BUT I would have hoped that even with the car I would have walked.

Mr & Mrs K
Parcels in hand, one to drop at the shop, the other the post office, I headed up the lane where I crossed paths with Mr & Mrs K. The beautifully aged couple were out for a walk, Mrs K, ‘I didn’t want to come for a walk but he needs his exercise’, gesturing towards her husband who stood listening with a boyish grin about his face.

‘Bonjour’, says Mr K, he, reading the words emblazoned across my t-shirt. He followed with ‘Ca va’?, quick think, ‘Ca va merci bien’, he again, ‘Parlez-vous français’, now coming to the end of my french vocabulary, ‘un petit … NO’. We all laughed, Mrs K taking hold of my arm saying, ‘i’m so glad we’ve seen you, it’s really cheered me up’. My smile grew wider.

We chewed the cud a little more then bid our good byes with Mr & Mrs K heading to the park for a gentle stroll.

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Walk this way
I carried on toward the shop, my pace being so that I caught up to and began to pass a fit mature lady walking in the same direction. I greeted her, ‘good morning’, ‘Good morning love, you look hopefully dressed’ came her reply. She was referring to me only wearing a t-shirt and the fact there were ominous rain clouds above.

‘Well, I thought, its warm so I won’t wear a coat and if it does rain it will make me walk a little quicker or if I’m really lucky, break into a jog, but that’s very doubtful’. She laughed and placing her hand on my arm, leaned into me saying, ‘that ‘s a good outlook to take’.

In our few hundred yards walk together I got to know about, the family who were renovating the ‘big’ house we had just passed, about the house a few doors down that was now up for sale for the second time in 3 years and used to be a nursery and the man that lived there, lovely couple, had cushion flooring in the converted cellar for soft play. I learnt about her friend’s house that we now neared, about how much work they had done on it giving it a new veranda and kitchen, oh such a beautiful kitchen. Each time she exclaimed a point she held my arm as though to enforce the exclamation. She was lovely. We bid our good byes as I reached the shop and she carried on to the post box with 2 birthday cards to post.

Shop Local
At the entrance to the shop stood one of the many friendly assistants. I was greeted with, ‘haven’t seen you for ages, I thought you must have flitted’, ‘you mean you thought I had died’. She started laughing, ‘no, if you had died we would have got to know about it, I thought you must have moved because I haven’t seen you about’. ‘No, I’m still here, the only way I will ever move is when they move me to the crematorium’. Laugh, idle banner, bid my ‘see you if I make it to next time’ and carried on, the long way round to the post office.

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Wrenthorpe and Alverthorpe Meadows
Through the avenues of St. John’s, under the little railway bridge and you find yourself in Wrenthorpe and Alverthorpe Meadows (Wrenthorpe Park). I bid good morning to many a dog walker and people simply out enjoying the park. As I walked along the path ways, down over the little bridge and stream and on past the ponds I began to hear the faint sound of music wafting through the trees.

I couldn’t make out the tune but as the path curved round and lead towards the football field I could hear more clearly and if I wasn’t mistaken, yes there he was, a saxophonist sat on a bench at the far side of the field. What a lovely sound and sight, definitely not one we or I see every day in Wrenthorpe Park.

I’ll walk over to listen and acknowledge him, his music did sound wonderful. I later learnt that the music was a Chinese folk song. Instead of heading straight for him and possibly scaring the poor bloke to death as I romp headlong across the field towards him, I thought I would skirt the football field gaining a more softly approach and so enjoy his music for longer.

But wait, who’s this in front of me. Mr & Mrs K sat side by side on a park bench across from the saxophonist watching the children play. ‘Hello again’, I said gently not wanting to startle them as I approached from their blind side.

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Mrs K, ‘Oh, how lovely, it’s been lovely seeing you today’, and again I beamed from ear to ear. They are such a lovely couple, always stopping for a chat when they pass my house on their little potters around the park.

We chatted and giggled, making light of the day as the soft music from the saxophone drifted across the field. Mrs K said she want to go over as she couldn’t hear the music from the bench but he, pointing to Mr K, won’t come. I said I was going to walk over so we can all go together if they wished.

Young love

Saxophone in the Park
About half way across the field the mellow sound of the shiny brass instrument final reached the ears of Mrs K, ‘oh that’s lovely’, she exclaimed, smiling and asking her husband if he could hear it.
As we approached, the gentleman playing stopped to greet us. We encouraged him to carry on. It was a sweet soporific sound that made me want to lay on the grass beneath my feet and close my eyes, beautiful.

The sweet gentleman informed us he was from China and felt it a little cold today, pointing to his medium density raincoat and padded gillet followed by a rubbing of his hands. ‘In China now 37 degree’, ‘here, now about 17 degrees, so good to be wearing 2 coats’, I reply, sporting my thin capped sleeve t-shirt.

Music to enjoy the park by

Mrs K set to telling the sweet gentleman how much they were enjoying his playing and to carry on but the language barrier was getting in the way a little. Because my translation technique had worked so well in establishing the difference between hot and cold between our two countries, the action for hot being me fanning myself with my hand and pulling at my shirt and repeating the word hot several times and the action for cold, hugging myself and vibrating my lips together to create a bbrrrrrr sound and repeating the word cold several times, the three now looked at me as a translator of Chinese to English and English to Chinese. My new and improved technique? Just repeat exactly what each person says … only louder and wave your arms about a bit… seemed to do the trick!

I bid good bye to Mr & Mrs K for the second time today and to the sweet gentleman and made my way to the post office on the other side of the park.

Post Office Bike Talk
There was already a customer at the counter as I arrived in Wrenthorpe Post Office (shop local). A middle aged man was chatting with the post lady as she processed his postal requests.

He stood back, patted his, (I will call it a medium sized), rounded stomach, as he asked her, ‘do you think I can lose this in a month?’ She looked up over the top of her glasses, ‘how often do you go to the gym?’, ‘I don’t’. ‘You’ll have to start jogging’ came a voice from the top of her head as she was now looking back down at the postal receipts. ‘oh, can’t do that’, he replied, ‘I’ve got to lose it because my son is getting married in Italy in a month and all his mates are well toned’.

… my turn to butt in (can’t help myself), ‘cycling!’. The middle aged round bellied man looked to me, ‘Cycling?! I used to cycle but not anymore’. I carry on, ‘cycling is great for fitness and really tones you up, I’ve lost about 3 stones over the years through cycling’. His eyes flicked me up and down and quick as a flash he’d said it and his face after his announcement was a picture…

…… ‘you must have been massive!’. He went bright red and began a string of apologies. He was right, I was and still am massive. I wanted to put on an upset face and make him feel worse than he already did BUT I couldn’t stop laughing. He was so quick, so spontaneous and so embarrassed it was hilarious. You couldn’t do anything else but laugh.

My turn at the counter and the post lady begins to tell me that about 15 years ago her husband bought her a bike and scared her to death on it. ‘I told him if he wanted to stay married to me he had better sell the bike! He took me round Rothwell motorway round about, you know the one I mean?’ I nodded, ‘scared me to death and I came off, I’m absolutely petrified of it’.

Obviously, I then follow her statement of fear with my Breeze patter, ‘Have you heard of Breeze cycle rides for women?’, No, well let me enlighten you ……. So I begin to tell her all about Women lead rides for Women only under the British Cycling Breeze banner. Fortunately for her a customer came in to stop me in my tracks. I departed telling her I would drop some information off for her. She managed a sideward, thank you, as the memories of ‘bike fear’ drained her face.

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Homeward Bound
I strolled home back through the park with signs of new life everywhere, from empty eggshells laid nestled in the newly cut grass to the chorus of cheeping chattering fledglings playing in the trees. I couldn’t help but smile, taking in a deep breath and the scent of cut grass, damp woodland and fresh air. With the sound of the water dancing over the pebbles and stones in the stream I had a very definite spring in my step and smile on my face.

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The park was a little quieter now. The sweat gentleman had left, probably when the light rain shower came. Mr & Mrs K would be home now, removing their shoes and hanging up their coats before sitting down to enjoy a lovely cup of Yorkshire tea.

I did pass a few more people as I returned back to the far side of the football field before making my way up the slight hill to home, a man with a dog managed a nod of the head, a girl of about 8 years riding a bright pink bike saying how hard to was to pedal followed on by who I took to be her mother and grandparents and on the way up the slight hill two young lads popped out from the trees wheedling sticks like scythes to cop at the grass.

Nothing out of the ordinary
It was just a walk to the post office. 1.7 miles and 1hour 15 minutes of a day. Nothing out of the ordinary with a walk to the post office BUT bye heck, it was a good walk. Simply a lovely, time to smell the roses walk, listen to people and enjoy a good old natter with anyone who so desires.

Calm, relax, a sense of wellbeing. Smile.

In a low gentle tone, I bid you good bye and thank you for reading my blurb, shhh.
Jo x

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