Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Things I Find On My Walks

It's been a long few months in the world of Charley. But now, with exams over, and a few weeks between me and the summer for proper, I've had some time to do a bit of thinking and rejiggering of my mental space.

Part of this process has been going for walks. During term time proper, when I can be going up and down the campus hill anything between four and eight times per day, I usually come back to my little lair and collapse in a small heap to settle down with my course reading and a nice pot of baked beans. With term and exams done, I've had more time in the day to do stuff.

Or, rather, not to do stuff. I'm not used to having so much time, and to be the only thing governing my use of it, and so I've had a few awful feelings of lethargy and unproductiveness in connection with several days where I hardly went further than the bottom of the road, simply because I had no reason to do so.

So I started going for walks, to get me up and going and get the bodily juices flowing so that, when I got back, I felt energised enough to seek things to do - like write blog posts, hunt for competitions to enter, and find more employers willing to send me an apologetic piece of paper to add to my wall of fiscal rejection.

Luckily for me, there is plenty of awesomeness around my city to help cheer me up.

One of my favourite haunts is my local pub, The Imperial. I'm not a drinker by the slightest stretch of the word, but there's a really lovely warmth and atmosphere to this place. Couple that with the memories I've made here with the friends that made my first year at university a whole barrell of awesome - and some of whom, sadly, will not be back to grace my second year with the same atmosphere, and 'the Impy' has squirrelled itself thoroughly into my emotinal core.

And then I found this beer. I always go by the philosophy that adding 'Of Doom' to anything makes something a thousand times more awesome - and this beer is literally called Doom.

The drink of megalomaniacal evil overlords everywhere.

... Oh, and the pub also do really nice scampi and chips ... just so you know.

I've never actually been inside this particular pub, but I've passed by it quite a lot on a way to some of my favourite haunts out in the town centre.

This brings me onto the second of my favourite things - the heritage. Aside from the mahoosive (and utterly gorgeous) cathedral, Exeter is just full of beautiful historic sights. Want Victorian Botanical gardens? Ancient city walls? The favourite drinking hole of Francis Drake? Our own riddle? We've got it all!

Jealous yet?

I snapped a picture of this pub completely on the fly, because the name made me cackle. It had the same effect on the woman walking next to me, when she leaned over to see what on earth the strange woman in the leather jacket was sniggering at.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about Arena. It's a nightclub - one of the biggest in the city, and a favourite of the student population. As such, it's also the source of a thousand and one memories (or lack thereof) for an awful lot of people, both newbies and old hats, who have staggered out of those doors at 3am.

I, personally, have only one experience with this place - and it consisted mostly of being elbowed, stepped on, and getting so crowded that I gave up and left after just under half an hour. But just because it isn't important to me personally doesn't mean I don't have a connection to it through the memories of the people who also occupy the peripheries of my life, too! Especially given how often I've had to guide them back to their rooms after one jaeger bomb too many.

... Oh, and about the giant blue gorilla? Just another enigma on the unsolvable mysteries of life. Maybe.

This last one is here to appease my inner Grammar Nazi just as much as anything else. The inner Grammar Nazi, that is, who nearly catapulted herself out of a window when she realised how many times she had walked past this faculty without noticing the horrific abuse of the English language broadcasted across the front.

You know you're a writer when...

In all seriousness, though, it's a wonder what a good walk can do for your mindset - and for your camera, given how many things you'll run into that you didn't know you'd been missing up to this point. *insert generic life lesson type thing here*

See you all next week!

~ Charley R


  1. I am jealous. Or at least slightly envious.
    I love a good walk around a small city or town. Or even just to the mailbox. It clears my mind so well.

  2. Definitely jealous. It sounds like a great place to for walks. I love towns with interesting sights and colorful history. They turn my mind to stories. :)

  3. I love walking. x) BUT I go around the same block twice a day always always the saaame *falls asleep mid-sentence*
    Oh sigh. I am very jealous. I think "Of Doom" should be added to everything as well. "Chips and Scampi of Doom". Sign me up.

  4. You probably already know this, but interesting fact: the Doom Bar beer is referencing those sandbars one gets randomly in the middle of the ocean - called 'doom' because of their potential to ground or sink ships.