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Outdoor Pursuits

10 May

Yesterday was a glorious day so it was an opportune time to take a test drive of the new reading place which I’ve had my eye on for a while but the cold months had always driven me into the warmth of tavern and bookshop.

WP_20160216_037I always approach from a certain entrance as it has a more dramatic feel to it, like a gateway to a new world or time, like Tom’s midnight garden but without having to wait for night time, especially as I’d have to climb over the fence as this one shuts its gates before 7pm.

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WP_20160416_003After a brief pottering around the water feature and fancy bits of garden, it was high time to sit down and mooch my choice of books for the day. 

WP_20160216_029The bench detailing is a nice touch and made me feel like king of the plants as they made a seat for me on my whim, even before I came around the corner to it.

WP_20160216_028What is a relaxing reading spot without a haul of new books though?  After finishing the book I was on before the morning was out, it would have been a long five or so hours of hanging around for a meeting with mates, so I went and had a splurge in one of the local shops.  The middle two were on a buy one, get one half price but for symmetry’s sake I had to make it a bargain book sandwich.

WP_20160510_001I plumped for Kadare’s The Fall of the Stone City mainly due to its length as I have some reviewing commitments to finish off for the end of the week.  After a satisfying start to the book and some flavoured water it was time to be off, back through the gateway to who knows what new worlds and thoughts this time…

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81 Comments

Posted by on 10/05/2016 in Travel

 

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81 responses to “Outdoor Pursuits

  1. Alastair Savage

    10/05/2016 at 14:05

    I half expected you to say you were going to be spending the day under that bridge!

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    • Ste J

      10/05/2016 at 14:10

      If I could have made myself comfortable and not looked homeless then it would have been the ideal place to escape the sun without having to head through the milling masses to get to a peaceful spot. I could have done some acting for Billy Goats Gruff as well.

      Like

       
  2. Asha

    10/05/2016 at 14:05

    A stroll. A park. A book. Pleasures of life. What else could a book-lover ask for?
    I so envy you.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/05/2016 at 14:15

      Just some company my friend and a cool drink, nothing else is needed!

      Like

       
  3. Jill Weatherholt

    10/05/2016 at 14:07

    I love when you take us along on your outdoor adventures, Ste J. Wonderful photos!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/05/2016 at 14:20

      I like to think of you all as little Borrowers in my pocket as I go wandering around in aimless patterns. The amount of photos I take is ridiculous, I am rubbish at taking them so I have to take loads in order to get some good ones. I’m glad you liked my travels.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Morgan

    10/05/2016 at 14:10

    It does look a wonderful place. Nottingham? And do tell, what is this Toms Midnight Garden????

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/05/2016 at 14:22

      Tom’s Midnight Garden is a book and a film, but mostly a book, a really good one, which I reviewed last year sometime. Nottingham is a good place and has an archery competition soon, just for the Robin Hood of it.

      Like

       
      • Morgan

        10/05/2016 at 14:35

        Fun, are you participating? 🙂 Here I thought you were talking about Tom LOL !

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        • Ste J

          10/05/2016 at 14:36

          It’s only for top professional archers and I would cause carnage at any rate. Lol not Tom I know, although if he did have a midnight garden that he hadn’t told me about, I would be miffed.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • Morgan

            10/05/2016 at 15:13

            it would be fun to watch though (you with a bow!) ….

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            • Ste J

              10/05/2016 at 15:14

              Perhaps if you were watching through binoculars, not in a stalkerish way but in a self preserving way lol.

              Like

               
  5. Irena S.

    10/05/2016 at 14:11

    The place looks lovely 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/05/2016 at 14:23

      It’s only a few minutes from the city centre as well, not that you would know when you get lot in a book.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  6. napsalm

    10/05/2016 at 14:38

    I used to live around the corner from that place and I only think I ever walked through it once. It is a lovely place though.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/05/2016 at 15:12

      Crikey that was a while ago mate, perhaps a trip down memory lane is required!

      Like

       
  7. Sarah

    10/05/2016 at 15:04

    Nice spot you found there Steve, King of the plants! I look forward to reading your thoughts on the Kadare, and I’ve also got ‘A Little Life’ cruising near the top of my TBR – I’ll race you! 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      10/05/2016 at 15:11

      I’m halfway through Kadare which displaced a literal shedloads of books all because of you. A Little Life sounds intriguing but I need to be in the mood to read a 720 page tome, I am hoping to read it soon though, I enjoy a challenge and a marathon over a sprint!

      Like

       
  8. clarepooley33

    10/05/2016 at 18:11

    I love the park with the arched entrance and the ‘Green Man’ bench. Enjoy your new stash of books and I look forward to the reviews. 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      11/05/2016 at 10:01

      Its always a joy to pick up new books but these ones especially excited me, I think the weather helped with that.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • clarepooley33

        12/05/2016 at 00:05

        Good weather makes such a difference to the way we feel and react to things. We have had lots of rain during the past two days so no sitting outside for me 😦

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        • Ste J

          12/05/2016 at 09:03

          It’s funny how the weather changed so suddenly, I am glad I managed to enjoy the sun for a bit as normally I avoid it wherever possible. I hope summer 2017 was good as the one we had this year, soon be snowing again!

          Liked by 1 person

           
  9. shadowoperator

    10/05/2016 at 18:48

    Where do you put all your books????? Anyway, please do a review of the Frayn when you get done with it. I’ve heard the last name but never read anything by that author. Of course, I hope you’ll continue to do reviews on other stuff as well, but I couldn’t help myself from making a personal request!

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    • Ste J

      11/05/2016 at 09:48

      I have to get more and more creative with space, although I did give two books away the other day so decided if I kept any new acquisitions relatively thin I would be able to fit a few more in, so naturally I picked a 720 page book first thing! I’d never come across Frayn but it seemed the best of the buy one get one half price book that they had on. Apart from the two I got, I found the selection very disappointing. I shall get to the Frayn as soon as my more urgent reading commitments are put to bed. I’m always happy to do requests, like a DJ but I’m a Ste J.

      Like

       
  10. macjam47

    10/05/2016 at 19:44

    Steve, those are some interesting book titles. I expect we can find reviews in the upcoming few weeks. What a lovely place to read. I would never want to leave. I think the international law is if you are reading a book you can’t be charged with vagrancy.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      11/05/2016 at 09:57

      I am hoping to get the books read fairly soon but I think that about all the hauls and I usually end up failing miserably but they will be reviewed eventually at least. It’s how I make sure you guys keep coming back! I wonder why more vagrants don’t flout the book rule, perhaps they don’t wish to spoil it for the readers which is kind of them, I will make them sandwiches.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • macjam47

        11/05/2016 at 12:05

        Yes, sandwiches would be nice.
        I hope I live long enough to read all of the books I’ve accumulated.

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        • Ste J

          12/05/2016 at 08:44

          I’ve already given up with that hope, especially as more keep coming to our attention thanks to our reviewing, perhaps we are part of the problem lol.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  11. cricketmuse

    11/05/2016 at 02:17

    Tom’s Garden allusion–how awesome is that!?!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      11/05/2016 at 09:15

      I like to put literature into real life, it allows me to escape even when I’m enjoying the place I’m in.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. gargoylebruce

    11/05/2016 at 05:06

    Stop being so olde world and gorgeous England. It’s not fair to the rest of us.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      11/05/2016 at 09:24

      It’s all we’ve got these days to show off.

      Like

       
  13. Liz

    11/05/2016 at 10:34

    I always fantasised about Tom’s midnight garden as a girl. We lived in a big old house where the garden was across the road which ran in front. There was an iron gate leading to who knew what… Because I was very little, I was not allowed to visit this garden very often because it was deemed too dangerous for me to cross the road on my own, even though it was a sleepy village with few cars. So I had to content myself in the smaller, sloping back garden where we looked after hedgehogs that had rolled down from the forest at the top into our patio. Anyway, enough of this reminiscing – what a great reading place to find – I am sure you will end up there frequently. And I love the excuse of symmetry to justify book buying – will remember that. Seeing your Michael Frayn book, have you read Headlong? It is fabulous 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      12/05/2016 at 09:17

      Reminisce away, I always enjoy reading about your memories and your wonderment at the mysterious Land Beyond the Gate. I haven’t really had any dealing with Frayn, his name sounded familiar and a shorter book would offset the mighty tome next to it. I am one of those people that likes to buy books in even numbers and symmetry is just one of the many ways I use to excuse my buying habits. Strangely my lack of room for books never seems to slow me down or give me reason to put any back.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Liz

        12/05/2016 at 09:22

        any excuse that results in a justification for more books is fine, I reckon

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • Ste J

          12/05/2016 at 09:25

          Justification…that was the word I was looking for for the above comment, mind went blank so I sulked and changed the whole sentence, thank you for inadvertently keeping me sane!

          I have so many excuses but I am hoping to be more stupidly obscure with them just to keep you amused.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • Liz

            12/05/2016 at 09:27

            I like the sound of forthcoming amusement – there has certainly been plenty of it to date!

            Liked by 1 person

             
            • Ste J

              12/05/2016 at 09:31

              When I hear some thunder and start blaming whichever pantheon of Gods come to mind for fuelling my book buying then you know I’m grasping at stores.

              Liked by 1 person

               
  14. Jilanne Hoffmann

    11/05/2016 at 18:46

    Makes me want to head to Golden Gate Park and lounge with a bag of books. And what was that flavored water? Hope you weren’t drinking from a brown paper bag. 😀

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      12/05/2016 at 08:48

      I was being good it was lemon and lime, I always go to a reputable establishment if I wish to indulge in something more dramatic. I sense Golden Gate Park may be getting a visit from you soon enough!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  15. Lyn

    12/05/2016 at 12:03

    A nice quiet garden, a big swing seat under the shade of a tree, or a bench seat by a river…all great places for reading a book or three.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      12/05/2016 at 20:16

      All we need is nice weather, usually I’m not fussed where I read as long as I can concentrate and nap when appropriate.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  16. Christy Birmingham

    12/05/2016 at 17:09

    The bargain book sandwich looks tasty! Let me know how delicious the reads are 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      12/05/2016 at 20:13

      I just finished The Fall of the Stone City which I enjoyed, there will be a review up in one or two posts depending on my mood. Book sandwiches are always the most nourishing.

      Like

       
  17. Sherri

    13/05/2016 at 15:16

    I think the king of plants definitely made that bench for you Ste…and I need to know what fate awaited you when you walked through the bridge at the end…I’ve seen your post after this, so I know you weren’t whisked off to another dimension, but would love to know what adventures awaited… and I hope too you have a great weekend. I’m still not around blogland much these days, but will keep an eye on you, lol!

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      14/05/2016 at 09:26

      After exiting the park and getting back to reality, every available flat surface was taken up by people enjoying the sun so I pottered around for a while and then met my mate and we decided to go have some Greek Tapas before hiding indoors and watching films. It’s not half as magical as the things I was going to make up to tell you but doing more blog posts means I can’t veer to far from the truth.

      I hope your weekend is equally great as mine will involve picking a new book (my fourth of the week), I always welcome cyber stalking done in the right spirit. I hope all is good on your end my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Sherri

        18/05/2016 at 14:15

        Ahh…well, I can always use my imagination. That’s so annoying though isn’t it, the minute the sun comes out and everyone grabs all the spots to sit. Like the towels on the chairs by swimming pools, but let’s not go there…! Mmmm…love Greek Tapas…and while watching films, even better. I’m sorry that once more I’ve been absent. I finally got a post up…only five weeks since my last one, so not too bad really! Thanks for asking, things are okay…finding it very difficult to work on my memoir and keep blogging but I’m determined not to let it slide by the wayside. I’ll do what I can and keep in touch as best as I can. I’ve given up putting notices on my blog as I don’t want to sound like I’m whining or making excuses as to why I can’t visit as often. I know that my true blogger friends, like you, will understand. And thanks so much for hanging around, keeping tabs on the summerhouse. Really means a lot…and no cyber stalking here…not yet anyway, ha!!! Hope you’re having a good week so far and things going well for you my friend…

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        • Ste J

          19/05/2016 at 13:04

          You do your best my friend and with the length of time it takes to blog, reply to comments and visit, it does take a lot of time and when writing a book as well, something has to give, all the best people understand that. My week is alright, started The Pillars of the Earth so that means I can catch up on some of the to review pile of books whilst ploughing through it. Other than that just looking for a new job and trying to keep up with reading and writing. I hope to keep pushing on with bookish things, I need to practise my art in preparation for your book hehe.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • Sherri

            20/05/2016 at 17:23

            Thank you Ste…means a lot that. And yes, something’s gotta give, ha! You amaze me you really do, with all your reading and reviewing. I don’t know how you do it! Ahh…well, that sounds great. The Pillars of the Earth sound intriguing. And I’m writing, oh I am writing…but it seems that this stage is so slow. Bashing out the first draft was easy peasy…the rewrites? I may as well have started over! I hope you find a new job soon…hope everything’s alright. I hope this cheers you up if any worries lurking…I nominated you for Best Book Reviewer for the Annual Blogger’s Bash thingy that some bloggers are raving about. Your name is there, and I’ve voted for you my friend…hope you win, you deserve it! I’ll be at the bash…if you’re not, and you win, I’ll proudly collect your prize tee-shirt for you…I could be like your PR and do a speech and everything…
            https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/05/19/vote-now-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-now-open/

            Like

             
            • Ste J

              21/05/2016 at 07:51

              Thanks for the link, I may do a shameless ‘vote me’ post soon just to give me an ego boost, lol. I confess I didn’t know anything about this (apart from a cryptic comment from Resa about it) but may see if I can get time off, I could imagine you as a good PR person, I would issu you stage dirctions for the speech with things like, looky teary and do a semi faint, just for the drama’s sake lol.

              At least for your rewrites you have the foundations to build on, I imagine it is tough but you will get there and it will be awesome when it is finished I know this because your natural style is just wonderfully intimate and layered with emotion.

              Everything is good wth me, it’s been a frustrating year in a few ways but am working n not letting it hold me back, although that same reason is an excuse to go and hide in books so either way I am covered lol! I am looking into a few new blog ideas too so if I can pull those off it will hopefully add another dimension to the blog.

              Liked by 1 person

               
              • Sherri

                21/05/2016 at 17:01

                I’m all for a bit of drama LOL! And go for it with the vote for me post…you deserve to win! I’m glad everything is good despite those frustrations of life. Sounds like you’re doing all you can to move forward though, tough as it can be sometimes. We all have our places to hide and what better than books? Sounds exciting about the new blog ideas…looking forward to hearing more about that. And again…thanks so much for your amazing encouragement of my writing… Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

                Like

                 
                • Ste J

                  22/05/2016 at 19:35

                  I am debating self hosting and going down a slightly out of my usual comfort zone so that will be interesting but I am quite hyped as well. You keep doing what you are doing and you will do really well, I know this because I am brilliant, really brilliant and humble.

                  Liked by 1 person

                   
                  • Sherri

                    23/05/2016 at 18:19

                    Nothing like going outside your comfort zone to feel hyped…can’t wait to see what you do. And yes…you are really brilliant… !

                    Like

                     
  18. anna amundsen

    13/05/2016 at 16:21

    This sounds like a great day. I will have to treat myself to one such some time soon. As soon as the weather allows.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      14/05/2016 at 09:34

      The weather seems to be the sticking point all around these days. I am sure you deserve a day off surrounded by nature with the accompaniment of a good book.

      Like

       
  19. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    13/05/2016 at 21:14

    Gateway to a new world- it really is, as you’ve seen the place through your lens. A new experience, a new vision… 🙂
    Beautiful day spent and the pictures are amazing, especially the second, third, and the fourth one… 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      14/05/2016 at 10:36

      I love sharing my local area and letting you see the parts that make me happy, it was so good I am going to the same next Monday…weather permitting of course.

      Like

       
  20. Resa

    14/05/2016 at 15:48

    What a fabulous place to read in! I love the way you presented the park with your shots and words. It’s like I took a stroll there myself! Thank you, stay well, and keep reading. 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      14/05/2016 at 21:29

      I have started my fourth book of the week today so no danger of my reading slowing down. Let me know when you happen to be in the area and I will take a walk with you, I was heading through it to more streets that could contain murals and got lost and had to come back and do a post on it, being all peaceful and have the right ambience for a good book.

      Like

       
  21. Love, Life and Whatever

    16/05/2016 at 16:03

    Ste my buddy….you are blessed…the stones, the mosses, the foliage and the entire serenity with the scriptures….how I wish belonged to me!

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    • Ste J

      17/05/2016 at 13:56

      It does distract from reading sometimes being surrounded by such lovely nature but I would rather be distracted by that than annoying things/people. I hope to live closer to it soon so I can spend more time there.

      Like

       
  22. angela

    18/05/2016 at 02:39

    Stunning – I would enjoy a reading afternoon within those trees with a thermos of rich coffee and an apple or two.

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/05/2016 at 12:50

      It is bliss, although a little distracting with all the wonderful views and nature around and sometimes squirrels!

      Like

       
  23. writersideup

    13/08/2016 at 16:13

    What a glorious, idyllic spot! (I love Tom’s Midnight Garden 🙂 ) Is that a circle of stone in the center of the pond? And that bench! Was it comfortable enough? I just love stuff like this 😀

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      14/08/2016 at 15:17

      It was a perfect place to sit that bench, that whole place is about five minutes walk from the city centre as well which is just perfect. The possible stone circle is pretty much an invitation to write a story! Tom’s Midnight Garden is a great book, proper loved it and reviewed it somewhere on here as well if memory recalls.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • writersideup

        14/08/2016 at 20:30

        You’re so right about the circle 🙂 I actually thought that, too, as I so often do. It’s the writer in us 😀

        And I’m so glad you mentioned your review (https://bookmust.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/toms-midnight-garden-philippa-pearce/)! I’m going to read it now. I think it was through a review or something like that, which got me reading it in the first place 🙂

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          15/08/2016 at 12:52

          I’m not sure what took me so long to read it, it always begs the question would this book have been better read as a child or an adult. A child has the imagination and all that but an adult appreciates the form and arguably the escapism a lot more.

          Liked by 1 person

           
          • writersideup

            16/08/2016 at 05:15

            Yeah, I think as a child you enjoy it and can get lost in the story, but as an adult you do appreciate SO much more. There have also been a few instances in which I loved a book as a kid, but not as an adult. Also, I read The Wizard of Oz for the first time as an adult. I absolutely HATED it. So many people love it, but I think you have to read it as a child to feel that way. And it’s one of the few times I think the movie far outdoes the book! 😀

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            • Ste J

              16/08/2016 at 13:24

              I read that as an adult too! I thought it was alright but having watched the film at least once a year, every year of my life then I feel it lost something, I still bought the entire series of books though. Return to Oz was one heck of a film as well!

              Liked by 1 person

               
              • writersideup

                16/08/2016 at 16:29

                Not kidding, Ste J—from the very first page it was like pulling my “literary teeth” to get through it. I couldn’t stand the voice and pretty much everything about it. I grew up with the film. Back in the 60s, here in the U.S., it used to be aired once a year on CBS (Ch. 2) in March (I’m pretty sure about that) and I was glued every time. There is SO much about that movie that has been related to my life (so much symbolism, especially “if I only had a brain” commonality with the Scarecrow). To me, the adaptation was GENIUS, from changing her slippers from silver to ruby, and SO much more 😀

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                • Ste J

                  17/08/2016 at 22:17

                  The flying monkeys were misrepresented though and the witch living in the yellow part of the land, in a yellow castle, there could be nothing less dramatic lol. I’m always confused when they show it with karaoke words accompanying it, everybody knows the words, even people who watch it for the first time lol.

                  Liked by 1 person

                   
  24. writersideup

    18/08/2016 at 19:50

    OK, I never saw it with “karoake”! I do know there was something aired that was a “sing-a-long” on one of the channels. It may have been “The Sound of Music,” but I’m not sure! I found it a bit much 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      19/08/2016 at 10:44

      Sing-a-long is what I meant sorry, for some reason I was struggling for the word. The Sound of Music is a great one for getting people together in a cinema or theatre, they do shows where people go dressed up as nuns and nazis (sounds kinky but it’s all innocent, I hear) and wave props around and have a raucous time.

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • writersideup

        19/08/2016 at 16:02

        Oh, wow! That actually sounds like fun 😀 Much better than the “weird” stuff that used to (maybe it still does?) go on over The Rocky Horror Picture Show! lol

        Like

         
        • Ste J

          21/08/2016 at 17:41

          Any excuse for a man to get into stockings and suspenders lol.

          Liked by 1 person

           

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