I have some of my jewellery in an exhibition as part of the Surrey Artists Open Studios [it’s amazing how much creativity goes on that you’d never know about]. As it was my turn to steward in the studio, I thought I’d cycle there – to counteract the inevitable sitting, it’s a few miles from where I live but the weather’s been fine and my bicycle has been in the shed for far too long without an outing.
So, mode of transport was decided and now to plan the route. A well known online map/directions site offered me three slightly different routes but they all featured at least some of the way on a fairly busy and not-that-easy-to-overtake-cyclists-on main road. In order to avoid this I had to go the long way round. That’s probably a slight exaggeration: it wasn’t too far out the way but a little further than the direct route.
The benefits, however, were that this was a much quieter route – a few pedestrians and a couple of cyclists were all I had to contend with for my hour’s ride. And for me I’m trying to do more adventuring closer to home, doing the things you usually save for holidays when you’re just on the way to work. Because you can. I got to look at the picture postcard properties of all shapes, sizes and ages, with summer roses in full bloom and other cottage garden flowers spilling out onto the side of the road. I got to peer cautiously up unsign-posted tracks wondering “what’s up there?” – is it a driveway (imagine the house?), a road leading to the next village (I wouldn’t like to be driving this) or will it simply end in a field (but what a view!). I got to wonder about the names of places and how they got them and when did this hamlet cease to get a mention on the map?
On arrival, the studio was quiet giving me the chance to sit and contemplate, create and chill: there was intermittent sunshine and not a lot else to do (everyday’s a holiday, no?).
I figured out I could make a loop to get back home (who likes going back the way they came?) A little bit more direct, still avoiding the main road and giving me the chance to observe some more.
Going the long way round: just because you can.