It was a tranquil Friday near the end of May, when we decided to visit Rutland Water. A few days before my birthday, in fact. Living in a landlocked city like Leicester, spending much
time near a body of water wasn't possible. I did love growing up in this city though, especially bike rides in the local park - steep hills which allowed for soaring when making the non-
pedalling descent. On this particular day, it had been a while since I'd spent some time near the dock of the bay. That said, this year brought an amazing trip to the Algarve in Portugal,
which I'm excited to share in the coming months.
I remember the first time I made a visit here was in Year 4 (approx. aged 8) with school, at a different part of this large location. It was informative learning about the water cycle. That
day many a year ago, was broken up into two parts, where we spent the morning at Cropston Reservoir. We were told prior to the trip that a pair of wellies would be handy, as we
planned to walk through muddy river banks. My mum kindly took me to some shops in search for the perfect pair. She asked if I was certain about the pair I wanted and I thought I was.
They were a tad snug, but there'd be some give with a little wear, right? The end of the walk was a note-to-self moment. As nice as the light pink Wellington boots look, if they're a size
too small, opt for the comfortable, robust green ones which you could easily spend a day fly-fishing in. My teacher complemented them, 'Those are lovely pearly wellies, Darshika.'
'Thanks Miss' (my toes are gone). Inner brackets not my response at the time - just reflecting on how I feel about too-small-a-shoe, 20-odd years later. A fun day regardless, where the
following days at school involved pretending to write from the perspective of a living water droplet, going through its daily life cycle. We've all been there. I remember hand writing a
lengthy piece, which needed to be folded on itself multiple times before it was mounted on the wall. It was decorated with drawings of pebbles and such in the border. I've kept choice
work from my childhood days and yes, I still have this piece written approx 21 years ago. Drop me a message for a PDF version of this lengthy tale (kidding). Well worth the read though.
Practicality over appearance, the vast amount of time these days. My Croc-like gardening clogs would be evidence of this. Never did I think I'd be sporting a pair, yet I've grown quite
accustomed to them. Whether they'll be making a public appearance any time soon remains to be seen. I step out into the garden to put them on and think 'Ah, I'm home.' They
remind me of carefree weed-pulling-makes-everything-come-up-literal-roses times. Mine don't have the mini holes dotted across the plastic barrier of the shoe. They do however,
have the tooth-like shape, resilience and sure do the trick when wading through rocky mud. Convinced yet? Go on, wedge up and get a little muddy. For shoes not reserved for
gardening, I'd go with a pair similar to ones I wore this day, here... these would probably do the trick too.
Next rockery venture: a giant succulent-filled boat. Speaking of one, I did come across an ornamental boat (about 2 feet long) in a shop a few months ago and I was very tempted to
buy it. Navy blue with white edging, it was as nautical as it gets. I envisioned filling it with some compost and echeveria lilacina, with their greyish/faint blue petals mimicking the sea. It
took a lot to put it back down and remember sill space is at a shortage - as mentioned in the last post. I also considered how at this rate, I'm one step short of filling an
abandoned toaster with sprawling succulents - gaze here for vessel-planting inspiration.
I found myself playing camouflage against the stunning structure of Normanton Church. It sits on an arm stretching out into the water and provides a focal point along the landscape.
To think there were plans in the 1970's to flood the surrounding land and building - I'm glad to see it still standing strong today. Speaking of striking construction, the artist Pontus
Jansson carefully staggers rocks and then let's gravity naturally do it's thing (a helping hand sometimes). The balance between the various sized stones is impressive, with serene
locations adding to the zen. Each piece complements the next, leaving your mind to sometimes interpret the sculptural forms - I get 'book perched atop a mini meteor' here.
Gazing into the distance, you wonder what lies beneath the calm surface of the water. Wasn't expecting Nessie, although I'm sure fascinating creatures on a smaller scale are out there
doing their thing. I've always wanted to see coral; there's an abundance of colour, patterns and surrealness underwater. Being surrounded by it all would be quite an experience.
Last year I worked at a summer school, where I visited a dock in Gloucester on a free day. Quaint barges invited you over for tea. Life on the water just seems that bit more chill.
We decided to see some more of the land, so me and sis unhurriedly climbed up a stony pathway. Parents opted to take shade, read the paper and relax.
While writing this post, I found this song automatically play on my playlist. 'No man is an island...maybe you were the ocean when I was just a stone'. Seemed fitting while I look back at
a water-filled day. I'm a big fan of Ben Howard's music - have a listen to his albums for some mellow, yet moving, listening. This feels like a good segue to mention that they played
one of his beaut tunes at the end of a stellar episode of House, that I watched yesterday. I'm on the final series and as I (sadly) edge closer to the last ever episode, I'm over here
wondering how to spend my evenings. I could write or draw, sure, although peak productivity for me tends to be the morning/afternoon and I've carved out the late part of the day for
a show. I'm thinking Grey's Anatomy. I've heard that it's 15 series or so deep, so it's quite the investment. One to make? If you have any recommendations, I'd be happy to hear them.
The shoreline dipped in and out throughout the view, with the majestic building peeking through the trees. Sheep. so many sheep, living off the fat of the land and the good life. I was
reminded of my 28th birthday spent in Derbyshire. We finished this lovely day with a visit to a restaurant not too far from the city centre called Tiranga, for an early birthday dinner. A
great place for some authentic Indian food - the chilli paneer has a tasty crispiness to it. Summer, until you're ready to roll around again, we'll be here.