Gibside

01/18/2013

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http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gibside/

This was my birthday walk, though it wasn't my birthday yet.

The landscape thick with snow.

Julia Cameron also says:  "One of my favourite ways to talk with friends is to walk with them. I love being engaged with the larger world and with each other."

That's what  this walk was like. Favourite. Walking. Talking. Engaging. World. Each other.
My wife and I. The World in the shape of a horse/pony engaged with C by eating her apple, she engaged by giving it. Making friends.

I've been to Gibside before, but it's usually been through work, with someone in a wheelchair, so one is mainly confined to walking down the avenue of trees lining the start of the Long Walk from the Chapel out towards the Column of Liberty....and back. At a stretch, in a fit mood with the right ground and weather conditions, one can make it to the Octagon Pond, engaging with the ducks perhaps, looking up at the Banqueting House, sometimes getting caught in the rain and sheltering under the tree by the pond.

It was therefore a treat exploring the Skyline walk, going round Snipes Dene - keeping
to the sunny side -  having lunch perched on damp log, passing the Mine and spending time in the Wildlife Hide, throwing pinecones onto the frozen surface of the Octagon Pond, exploring what the Nature Playscape was, having a coffee at the Stables (hurrying a little as the time for the forecasted snowfall was fast approaching) and strolling up the Avenue, for once not having had to go down it first.

Engaging with Gibside in this way was a curious thing, in that I had always imagined it a bigger estate than it turned out to be. It wasn't a disappointment or anything like it, but an interesting observation, how something you can't see the edges of may seem huge, and once you've been to its edge, its borders, it limits it somehow becomes pocketable.

Or has it got to do with ability? Behind or in a wheelchair its edges are still out of reach.
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18.01.2013 Visitors map of Gibside, not to scale. Walk marked out in pinkish-grey
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18/01/2013 On the skyline
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18/01/2013 On the skyline
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Making a friend
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Hide and column
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in the hide
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18.01.2013 Pond and Banqueting House
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18.01.2013 Snow starting to fall
 


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