Cycle Paths and Post-war Estates

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The joy of no deadlines. Waking up in daylight: Long dog walks before breakfast without a time limit. In fact, there’s little better than setting out on a 30 minute quick walk then seeing the sunshine and blue skies and deciding to do a trail I’ve been meaning to follow for months and months. The thirty minute stroll becomes a five mile ramble and two bus journeys just to get back to the starting point.

And that was this morning. The Roundhay Park to Temple Newsam cycle path beckoned temptingly and I struck out on a surreal wander through hidden woodlands, moorlands and flat open green space punctuated by generously spaced post-war local authority housing developments.

In many ways it was intriguingly different to a normal country ramble. The odd desolation of suburban green space holds surprises at every turn.

Instead of restraining the dog from eating horse manure, I leap in to prevent her snorting some suspicious looking white powder lying sodden within a burst plastic bag. It’s probably just someone’s domestic science ingredients. Probably.

The path takes me along an abandoned terrace, with a poisoned-looking beck running alongside and industrial grade fencing and padlocks protecting tiny scrap-filled backyards on the other. An oddly menacing air, despite the greenery and benches for scenic viewing of the adjacent housing estate.

I’m filled with inspiring ideas for paintings. I can barely move for stopping to snap images all around. This odd, dissonant collision of edge lands, suburbia, postmodern society.

I stepped out at 9am. Finally back home at 2pm. The ultimate wandering -at-whim day. It’s nice to have no deadlines.

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