Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Lunchtime Walk

When the weather is fine, or even when it’s not, I like to go for a walk at lunchtime. But working in a village doesn’t give me much scope for walks. I’ve been everywhere now. I've done the graveyards, the riverside walks, up past the primary school, gone lurking behind the water pump station. Everywhere. And because it’s a village they all get to know you and by now they’ll be thinking,

There goes that loopy woman who’s always tramping aimlessly about the place.

At least in Ballymena a person out walking looked as if she might actually be going somewhere.

Are there not any beauty spots near your work place? - I hear you ask.

Indeed there is. There is
Tardree Forest. And it’s only a couple of miles away. It’s a lovely place with excellent views of Lough Neagh and the Sperrins beyond. Some good hillside trails too. It’s just the sort of spot a PA (hah!) with a newspaper, an apple and some sandwiches could go to while away a lunch hour. And take in a nice, brisk stomp around the forest paths for her health’s sake.

Now go google ‘Tardree Forest’.

I have to say that I knew the forest’s reputation. I’d been warned. But I also believed that the part I was in was used by chaps solely interested in other chaps. I’d been informed that the hetero action took place in a car park off the Parkgate Road. So I thought I was safe enough in the gay bit and I kept my head stuck in my paper and totally blanked out the occasional vehicle that went past. I couldn’t help noticing that there was one little blue car that passed me four times. The driver just seemed to be circling around. He slowed down and stared as he passed me but I pretended not to notice.

I felt a little bit uncomfortable and not sure whether I should take a walk. But being an idiot decided to chance it. As soon as his car was out of sight I went off road and into the forest and didn’t see one other soul. Fifteen minutes later I returned to my car and, still off road, I spotted the blue car again. Because I was sheltered by the trees I took a good look. The driver was a man who, I’d guess, was well into his sixties. Oh well. It was a nice day for a drive. You’ll note I don’t mention the make of the car. You’d never know who’d be reading this.

It’s a pity – but I don’t think I’ll be back in Tardree Forest again unless it’s with Bert and the dogs.

Instead I shall go walking on the Greenfield Road where strange creatures abound. Is this some kind of bear? Or ape?


Hageltoast said...

bit grim. Still aimless wandering sounds good.

ed said...

Well, those tags will do your google ranking no harm at all...

I've also been faced with a change of scenery, and have been exploring the locale. Not for reasons of exercise, more to find out where the bars and sandwich shops are. But still, lots of exploring going on, and I've discovered this: scenic and Falls Road do not a happy pair make.

But the Guinness is nice. So that makes it all OK.

Nelly said...

Aimless wandering is an excellent pursuit. But I think a bit of anonymity helps the experience. Cities are excellent places for meandering around.

As to the tagging - should I add 'cottaging' or would that be too, too cynical?

John said...

Ah, The last time I was out for a walk in tardree a fellah scuttled past me, hopped into his car and drove off. Caused a bit of a kerfuffle, him being stark naked and all.

How's those assignments coming along?

Nelly said...


Assignmets. Completed scheme of work last night. I just made myself do it. Bert & singing dogs held off until I'd finished.