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100 Days | 100 Walks | 100 Paces

Days 51-100

Day 51 | confluence 2. Painswick, at the joining of The Painswick Stream and Washbrook

linear walk
time: 14:51 – 15:04
date: 18/10/09
weather: cloudy
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: S1

‘confluence’ |ˈkänˌfloōəns; kənˈfloōəns|
noun
the junction of two rivers. an act or process of merging
late Middle English: from late Latin confluentia, from Latin confluere ‘flow together’
once the site of water power, but now this technology’s wastefully ignored – returned to use, how much power could all these brooks generate? –

day51confulence2


Day 52 | Shortwood, beechgrove

circular walk around the grove
time: 10:20 – 10:36
date: 19/10/09
weather: overcast
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: S1

slowly walking around this circle of seventeen beech trees, many becoming one – grey light, golden leaves, silver River – the sound of a mournful London bound 125, mingles with cattle’s lowing and sociable buzzards – viewed from here on this high overlook, the Vale with 2 nuclear power stations, 1 wind turbine and 1 River – truely, we have a balanced energy portfolio –

day52stockend

Day 53 | confluence 3. Stroud, where The Painswick Stream meets the Severn Thames Canal

linear walk
time: 10:12 – 10:33
date: 20/10/09
weather: cloudy, drizzle
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: S4

this waterway, neglected and awaiting appreciation  – this mill, still making cloth in the traditional local colours; green for snooker tables, orange for tennis balls and Stroud Scarlet, the colour of the Redcoats – this wall, coloured and tagged, in the traditional colours of Mazda’s rich blue, Ford’s metalflake green and Vauxhall’s surprise yellow, mingled with limestone blocks- this factory, whose smells are taken everywhere on the stiff chill breeze – this stream, from high on the limestone hills, descending, falling and finally tumbling to meet and join and pass through… to the River – this water, taken from here to who knows where? –

day53painswickstream

Day 54 | Rodborough Common looking west

linear walk along the slippage lines
time: 9:55 – 10:17
date: 21/10/09
weather: cloudy
temperature: 11°
wind speed/direction: SE4

Mist rises, released from trees over the valley – church bells from Woodchester, tolling to mark the moment – we tread on pathways in this huge bowl, made from slipping soil – chirupping rooks tell each other jokes – other valley sounds waft up to us, traffic, sirens, people and the belted Galloway cattle –

day54 rodborough

Day 55 | confluence 4.  Stroud, where the Nailsworth Stream meets the Frome

linear walk
time: 16:35 – 16:54
date: 22/10/09
weather: cloudy
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: SSE 3

water cascades down mill-weir sounding soft and peaceful against hard traffic din – redundant mill, it’s power once coming from this stream, it’s wheel evidenced by the circle of redbrick against stone – in 5 metres, I move from tranquility to chaos – separate and enclosed in concrete, under roads and car parks, the waters finally come together – new build houses hug the bank and congregate tightly in ‘Meadow Close’ –

day55nailsworthconfluence

Day 56 | The Ridgeway looking west

linear walk
time: 15:44 – 16:03
date: 23/10/09
weather: partly cloudy
temperature: 15°
wind speed/direction: S3

trees lean to the east on this ancient, windswept hilltop – I’m drawn to this high, bleak, beech copse with memorial plaques, moss-covered bears, flowers and ribbons which remind travellers of passing lives –  that this route was for eons the only way to travel, now the M4 snakes through this high downland – windfarm blades turn, while Didcot cooling towers slowly steam

day56ridgeway

Day 57 | Arlingham, looking towards The Forest of Dean

linear walk
time: 14:25 – 14:42
date: 24/10/09
weather: sunny spells, partly cloudy, heavy isolated showers
temperature: 15°
wind speed/direction: SW5-6

this long straight road to nowhere, but crossing point, The Passage – silver leafed whitebeams, windblown willows and tall, waving reeds – susurrating leaves whisper and rustle and conspire – clouds darken the Forest’s hills with incoming Welsh rain – newly dug, clean cut rhine, drains rain towards the River –

day57arlingham


Day 58
| garden walk

circular walk
time: 17:08 – 17:23
date: 25/10/09
weather: partly cloudy
temperature: 13°
wind speed/direction: WSW3

sun setting early on this first day of GMT – leeks stretch symmetrically upward towards dusk light – runner beans still give generously and without complaint – random clouds dotted by early-to-bed-rooks – slowly peeling, white birch bark reveals new colours –

day58garden

Day 59 | Above Dory’s Mill and Washbrook

linear walk
time:10:03 – 10:21
date: 26/10/09
weather: fine, sunny, scattered cloud
temperature: 16°
wind speed/direction: W3

tunnel of long-ago coppiced trees, now a shelter for deer – vertical branches, strive for straightness – beech nuts crunch under my feet – moss covers fallen tangles of trees – brook sounds-off musically – leaves, gold against the sun, finally detach themselves and take the breeze –

day59washbrookdorys

Day 60| River Coln, Bibury, Gloucestershire

linear walk
time: 14:10 – 14:22
date: 27/10/09
weather: overcast with ocasional breaks in the cloud
temperature: 17°
wind speed/direction: SE3

reflecting on 60 days of walking 100 paces, how much time is that; how far have I walked, slowly? as slowly as our descision makers? – have our leaders come any nearer during these 60 global revolutions to resolving issues of climate change, habitat destruction or energy use? – still this river flows towards the Thames, trout swim, duck feed, tourists smile treasuring the tranquility, so surely nothing’s wrong – but it’s nearly November and 17° –

day60bibury

Day 61 | Toots Long Barrow, Selsley Common

linear walk 5 times up and down the barrow
time: 009:23 – 09:43
date: 28/10/09
weather: bright with scattered cloud
temperature: 14°
wind speed/direction: SSE3-4

here at 205 metres high, up on the Cotswold limestone grassland I climb the mound, getting closer to the sky – this wild, ancient place, chosen as a site for a dead sentinel all those eons ago – solitary wind turbine’s blades turns mesmerisingly, but safely – Berkeley, even though ‘de-commissioned’ still sits on the River potentially costing us the earth – patches of light chase each other across the Vale – LBJs hover in the wind – trees no longer green, stand out against the hills –

day61selsleycommon

Day 62 | Scottsquarr Hill, Edge

linear walk heading west
time:10:09 – 10:25
date: 29/10/09
weather: mostly cloudy
temperature: 15°
wind speed/direction: S1-2

walking up this overgrown hollow-way, created by quarry wagons – Pollock-like tangles, created by creepers – amber leaves carpeting the ground, created by shortening days and seasonal change –

day62edge

Day 63 | Edge, source of an un-named spring

linear walk
time: 11:25 – 11:43
date: 30/10/09
weather: overcast with patchy cloud
temperature: 13°
wind speed/direction: SSE4

water bursts up through the ground, then finds gravity – spring becomes brook, becomes stream, becomes river, becomes sea, becomes cloud, becomes mist, becomes rain, becomes snow, becomes ice, becomes spring –

day63edge

Day 64 | below Painswick Beacon, by Blow’s memorial

linear walk
time: 10:52 – 11:14
date: 31/10/09
weather: broken cloud with sunny patches
temperature: 14°
wind speed/direction: WNW3

I hear fusilades of shot guns mark the endgame for some game – I smell the sweet damp of Autumn grass – I touch the rough limestone of dry-stone wall’s ‘cocks and hens’ – I see over the River 60 miles and into Breckonshire’s blue Beacons –

day64belowpainswick

Day 65 | Edge Common

linear walk loooking westward
time: 10:39 – 10:50
date: 1/11/09
weather: squalls with heavy rain
temperature: 15°
wind speed/direction: SW7

sounding like a drum-roll, wind blown rain batters down on my waterproofs – leaves fill the sky like flocking birds – mist hangs tenatiously onto trees in the valley – the last remaining scabious still flowers, damply purple – now rusett, rosebay willow herb bends battered in the warm southwesterly –

day65edge

Day 66 | Whiteshill

linear walk
time: 10:09 – 10:20
date: 2/11/09
weather: sunny with light, high cloud
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: SW3

walking along the white line of this football field, that was once likely to have been a racking field – teazles were once used in cloth production in this former village of weavers – Whiteshill was once described as being the poorest and most morally degraded village in the parish – Edward 1V once passed through here during the Wars of the Roses in 1471, chasing the army of Queen Margaret – once…….

day66whiteshill

Day 67 | Spoonbed Valley, Edge

linear and very damp walk
time: 9:37 – 9:58
date: 3/11/09
weather: heavy rain
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: WSW5

newly arrived Redwings, gorging themselves on redder-than-red holly berries – optimistically, dark cows make their way towards me as I try to tread lightly across their sodden field – erroded by rain and gradually decomposing, vintage farm machinery lies littering the field  –  blown by winds from the west, spear-like rain attempts to drive through me –

day67edge

Day 68 | by King Charles’ Stone

linear walk
time: 9:55 – 10:14
date: 4/11/09
weather: sunny, light cloud
temperature: 8°
wind speed/direction: WSW3

I slow-walk under the beech trees that make up this hollow-way, following in the ancient footsteps of trippers to Gloucester – beaters from the local shoot start their slow-walk across the stubble, their dogs put-up pheasant and partridge – guns begin to blast, silence breaks with a pop – we use the landscape in different ways, but at least share one aspect – in our current state of global confusion, it’s worth considering that we share this land, that nothing in our landscape is likely to be permanent….and we don’t own it, it owns us –

day68kingcharlesstone

Day 69 | Painswick Valley

linear walk
time: 09:26 – 09:44
date: 5/11/09
weather: sunny, occasional cloud
temperature: 8°
wind speed/direction: NW2

reflections on interconnectedness  – flowing downhill through cow trodden mud, these small trickles of water from this insignificant stream without a name, later join to make the Severn – jets pass over curious cattle who stand under a daytime, nearly full-moon – like negatives made from white bails of silage, large patches in the grass look underexposed –

day69

Day 70 | Painswick Beacon, Spoonbed Valley

linear walk with 6 other slow-walkers
time: 14:54 – 15:08
date: 6/11/09
weather: low cloud, drizzle and bursts of rain
temperature: 8°
wind speed/direction: SE5

standing on this high ground rain like the cavalry comes blasting in, noisy and chilling – landscape colours, so easily overlooked – cloud obscures that hill on which I live – by the dry-wall where I know many stones, we notice textures of the trees, we notice maize, the circular bails, the knot weed, the dry leaves, the lichen. We notice the last of the wild apples. We notice –

day70spoonbedvalley

Day 71 | Horsepools Hill, Edge

linear walk
time: 09:10 – 09-26
date: 7/11/09
weather: clear, sunny
temperature: 8°
wind speed/direction: WSW3

balancing 200 metres high, looking out through beech trees, under clear blue skies over the Vale to May Hill – ivy quietly climbing embraces trees, before tightening it’s grip – cattle, conservationists at heart, do their best to re-establish the balance on this limestone grassland –

day71huddaknoll

Day 72 | oak & un-named stream, Edge

linear walk
time: 14:20 – 14:41
date: 8/11/09
weather: cloudy, grey, drizzle
temperature: 7°
wind speed/direction: NNW3

rain filtering through limestone and time, drop by drop – magically emerging out of the ground here and into daylight , drop by drop – trickling down the valley into the Washbrook, drop by drop – spilling through the town, into the Frome, drop by drop – flowing through farmland, into the Severn, drop by precious drop –

day72edgeoak

Day 73 | Maitland Wood, Edge

linear walk
time:14:55 – 15:16
date: 9/11/09
weather: fog
temperature: 6°
wind speed/direction: WNW1

up here on the Bulwarks, mist and fog conceals the distance, making the wood unusually silent and secretive – not so long ago, a soft green light filled this space – now grey has taken over, slashed by spear-like splashes of gold – today’s mists mark the seasonal change…welcome the first real day of winter –

day73maitlandwood

Day 74 | Edge

circular walk
time: 15:03 – 15:21
date: 10/11/09
weather: low cloud, drizzle
temperature: 7°
wind speed/direction: WSW1

weather’s closed down and mist envelops the hills – garden walking reveals new intimate and unexpected landscapes – colours still vibrant for this damp November day – ripe-red holly berries, now on the menu for blackbirds – round drops of rain on my winter brasicas, reflect this small world jewel-like and glistening – green mossy bark peeling from the birch uncovers pristine new layers, white and silver –

day74 gardenwalk

Day 75 | Edge, Spoonbed Valley

linear walk
time: 11:21 – 11:36
date: 11/11/09
weather: fog
temperature: 6°
wind speed/direction: n/a

snowberries, snowwhite globes in the hedgerow – sweeter than any before, the last of the years blackberries linger – covered in healthy mud, 2 grey horses graze in field wheere treasure was once found – fallen apples, red and green lay in this sad, disused and neglected orchard – greygreen Sponbed Hill appears then, just as quietly it vanishes again –

day75edgelane

Day 76 | Maitland Wood, Scottsquar Hill, Edge

linear walk
time: 08:31 – 08:50
date: 12/11/09
weather: bright, sunny with cloud approaching
temperature: 9°
wind speed/direction: S3

emerging into the light from walking through the wood of dark shadows – mendacious paths, slippery with overnight rain and newly fallen leaves  – rainclouds assemble and threaten the weak blue of the southern sky –

day76maitlandscottsquar

Day 77 | old holloway, Huddinknoll, Edge

linear walk
time: 10:24 -10:44
date: 13/11/09
weather: overcast with thin cloud
temperature: 10°
wind speed/direction: S3-4

grey and pink morning sky threatening rain and forecasts storms – glistening and damp, reptilian eyes stare from the remains of a felled tree  – trying to see into the past by counting the meduliarly rays, I get up to 187 and wonder, what was happening in this field, in this county, then – lines on the ground, land marks drawn by cattle – looking westward, the River shines back at me  –

day77holloway

Day 78 | towards Sevenleaze Lane, Edge

linear walk
time: 14:49 – 15:12
date: 14/11/09
weather: heavy rain, racing clouds, gales
temperature: 10°
wind speed/direction: W6-8

bands of rain bluster towards me while rooks, chattering noisily assemble and debate where to find the nights’s roost – necklaces of diamond studded red berries hang from damp bushes – mud tries to capture each footstep, only releasing after making salacious squelches –

day78backwaytosevenleaze

Day 79 | River Frome, Stroudwater Navigation, Ebley

linear walk
time: 11:38 – 11:59
date: 15/11/09
weather: sunny, partial cloud
temperature: 11°
wind speed/direction: WSW3

stretch of canal fenced and filled-in with supermarket trolleys – stretch of river, heron waits patiently – watermeadows now with estate of new builds, oblivious of rising water levels – sounds of Sunday strollers, feeding ducks –

day79ebleycanal

Day 80 | above Bacchus, Edge

circular walk
time: 14:41 – 15:00
date: 16/11/09
weather: cloudy, squalls
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: SW5

taking flight, a buzzard and a deer, each turn and go silently, trying to avoid me – incoming apocalypse-like squall advancing up the Vale to embrace me – smooth trunk of this long dead tree, it’s history attracts me –

day80overlooking bachus

Day 81| above Harescombe Grange, Edge

linear walk
time: 9:55 – 10:12
date: 17/11/09
weather: sunny, light cloud
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction:SE4

6 colours from the land:
Pantone 7512c, 5205c, 575c, 533c, 619c, 725c

day81sevenleazelane

Day 82 | Stratford Park, Stroud

linear walk
time: 11:35 – 11:49
date: 18/11/09
weather: cloudy, drizzle
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: SW4-5

hide-n-seek grey squirrels, small mountains of orange leaf litter, discarded blue plastic wrapping litter, gathered green moss, yellow-suited, leaf-blowing machine operator, brief multi-coloured reflections in Painswick Stream, iridescent black and white magpie – grey man walking nowhere –

day82stratford park

Day 83 | Harescombe

linear walk
time: 11:11 – 11:24
date: 19/11/09
weather: dull and overcast
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: SW4

in this remote ossuary, bones of trees are laid out to rest – sounds of water, hidden by hedges – neatly harrowed and winter-ready, rich brown soil waits for Spring –

day83harescombe

Day 84 | Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

circular walk
time:
date: 20/11/09
weather: sunny spells
temperature: 14°
wind speed/direction: SW4

one-legged man, plagued by a memory of what was once – intrigued by Tredescant’s cabinet of curiosities, we silently pay homage to distant places and things we didn’t know – all that remains of this sad Dodo’s remains, is the bill – paying the price of our activity, 47,677 species are on the endangered list –

day84oxford

Day 85 | Rudge Common, Edge

linear walk
time: 13:18 – 13:42
date: 21/11/09
weather: heavy rain and gales
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: SW6-7

more Atlantic rain beats down, blown horizontally and stinging my face – playing in the sky, performing gulls call excitedly to attract attention – trees howl with mock indignation as the seductive wind gets between their branches – cattle who should be used to this sort of thing, look at me as if the rain’s my fault –

day85rudge common

Day 86 | Washbrook, Spoonbed Valley

linear walk
time: 11:03 -11:26
date: 22/11/09
weather: heavy showers
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: SW6

Washbrook waters snaking through the valley, can be heard above the wind – soft mosses and lichen, wrapping branches and growing well in this damp, enclosed copse –

day86spoonbedvalleywashbrook

Day 87 | Pitchcombe Woods

linear walk
time: 11:40 – 11:56
date: 23/11/09
weather: heavy blustrery showers, sunny intervals
temperature: 12°
wind speed/direction: WSW6

sodden ground squelches after hours of rain – beech trees, their top most branches howling in the strong winds, while below it’s strangely calm –  branches shaken loose, litter the woodland floor – startled Jay cackles, flashing white against dark beech trunks

day87pitchcombe

Day 88 | Edge

linear walk
time: 12:25 – 12:43
date: 24/11/09
weather: heavy cloud, rain
temperature: 11°
wind speed/direction: WSW5

bleak, unwelcoming bus shelter open to the wind-driven rain – green notice board filled with scaffitti – Beauty and the Beast, the ultimate love story and soon to be on at our village hall –

day88edge

Day 89 | Waitrose supermarket, Stroud

circular walk
time: 19:01 – 19:16
date: 25/11/09
weather: overcast, drizzle
temperature: 6°
wind speed/direction: WSW4

40% of supermarket packaging cannot be recycled – the Local Government Association found Waitrose the worst offender for using the most unnecessary packaging of the major supermarkets – £1.8 billion will be spent between 2008 & 2011 on EU landfill taxes – “Britain is the dustbin of Europe, with more rubbish being thrown into landfill than almost any other country in Europe”.

day88waitrose

Day 90 | Edge

linear walk
time: 12:02 – 12:36
date: 26/11/09
weather: sunny spells – mostly rain-free
temperature: 7°
wind speed/direction: W3

graveyard of rusting, but interesting farm machinery litters the field – 5 bar gate, wearing a bracelet of rusty barbed-wire, fails to make me feel welcome  – everywhere, reminders of life, death and lunch –

day90edge

Day 91| above Washbrook

linear walk
time: 10:56 – 11:22
date: 27/11/09
weather: sunny, light cloud
temperature: 6°
wind speed/direction:WSW3

unusually, today is a stranger to the rain which has fallen for days filling Washbrook to the brim – ridge and furrowed fields in the early winter sun, look like they’ve been combed by a giant – discarded feathers marking the end of one creature’s life and the continuation of anothers – animal trails show as shadows in relief, marking their way across sodden fields –

day91abovewashbrook

Day 92 | Arlingham

linear walk
time: 11:45 – 12:09
date: 28/11/09
weather: sunny, scattered clouds
temperature: 5°
wind speed/direction: SW3

lines of water fills fields, just below the Severn’s flood wall – lines of maize stubble, point to the clouds – linear walk along the River’s bow

day92arlingham

Day 93 | along the Washbrook

linear walk
time: 2:45 – 3:11
date: 29/11/09
weather: low cloud, heavy rain, colds wind
temperature: 5°
wind speed/direction: SE4

rabbits scatter, followed by a startled red fox – demos in Switzerland and getting closer to Copenhagen, media activity escalates into mild disinterest – tenaciously, the last leaves of beech hang on in the wind – overflowing streams fill fields as I walk the waters of Gloucestershire – hidden by low clouds, our Iron Age fort comes and goes –

day93washbrook

Day 94 | Edge

linear walk
time: 14:45 – 15:09
date: 30/11/09
weather: clear with scattered cloud
temperature: 4°
wind speed/direction: 3N

sun slowly disappears behind the escarpment’s edge, throwing shadows over the land – cold northerely wind blows cloud across the nearly full moon – Solstace is nearly here and white berried mistletoe, an ancient symbol of immortality, is also now seen as a keystone species –

day94edge orchard

Day 95 | Maitland Wood

linear walk
time: 10:17 – 10:40
date: 1/12/09
weather: chrisp, fine, sunny
temperature: 2°
wind speed/direction: SSE1

Winter’s first frost, here at last – soft and bright green, moss disguises old-wall-rocks in this damp, golden beechwood – through the trees, white dressed fields run to the river – exposed by deer, nibbled tree roots fleshy-pale against the bark –

day95maitlandwood

Day 96 | River Frome at Eastington

linear walk
time: 11″53 – 12:22
date: 2/12/09
weather: low cloud, rain
temperature: 9°
wind speed/direction: SE2-3

after the wettest November on record, migrant swans swim in riverside fields – grey skies full of more rain, hover over Selsley’s barrow – brim-full to overflowing, the Frome’s banks fail to hold back the flow –

day96.r.frome at eastington

Day 97 | Holcombe

linear walk
time: 11:06 – 11:38
date: 3/12/09
weather: partly sunny
temperature: 4°
wind speed/direction: NW2-3

100 paces walk, ankle deep in racing water, down a downhill footpath that’s now a brook – fungi form lines, over the hedge amongst lush, damp greenfield grass – over on the next hill, sunshine throws everything into sharp contrast –

day97holcombe

Day 98 | Edge Common

circular walk
time: 1:09 – 10:36
date: 4/12/09
weather:sun, clear blue skies
temperature: 3°
wind speed/direction: WSW1

white pockets of frost remain in stoney hollows – birch branches even whiter against blue sky – cattle’s cloud-breath forms white masks around their heads

day98edgecommon

Day 99 | Arlingham

linear walk
time: 08:29 – 08:52
date: 5/12/09
weather: sun and early morning broken cloud
temperature: 4°
wind speed/direction: SW2

Hearing rumbling of the incoming bore, the river rapidly filling – waiting and ready, black-clad surfers get onto the edge of the wave, then loosing it paddle to shore and drive off to catch it again further upstream – tree-trunks, like the bones of badly designed galleons race upstream – hitching a lift, gulls ride the incoming tide – seaweed, wood and plastic toys running a line on the high-water mark

day99arlingham

Day 100 | Painswick Beacon

linear walk along Ironage ramparts
time:11:11 – 11:26
date: 6/12/09
weather: fine sunny, scattered clouds
temperature: 6°
wind speed/direction: W5-6

100 pixels, colours from earth, water and sky from 100 walks – after 10000 paces, now the final walk of these 100 days, marks the last day before our leaders play ‘conference games’ with our future – from this high point, looking northwestward over Gloucestershires fragile countryside towards the River and it’s source –

day100.painswickbeacon