Sometimes crowds and queues make you listless.You ache for space and silence.Or at least I do.
So I looked at the map,turned what was in the fridge into an old fashioned picnic and we struck out into the landscape.
Where water is concerned a map can be ambiguous .Here is Blackwater estuary but what of the routes to the water?The little pathways and tracks that take you from countryside to where the masts show in the distance.
Oh lucky day.It was one of those where you turn the corner and there's a dagger of water in sight.Hurry to its hilt and a whole vista emerges.Lagoons,bobbing boats and a vast vista of shining water.
Water that breaks into shards in the sunlight.Shattered mirrors and broken diamonds.The smell of salt and seaweed is intoxicating.Lingering like a child that does not want Christmas to end.
Then a further thought.
There's a remote Saxon chapel built by St Cedd.The plague got him in 664 AD so its been there a while.
We park and start to walk.Its half a mile along a track loud with bird song.The wind is strong but warm.The air sweeps your body and seeps into your spirit for that whole half mile.
The chapel itself is swept by the continuous wind.Once inside you hear nothing but the wind.The only light is from windows very high up.There is space and silence.
I thought of people down the centuries sprinting in and slamming the huge wooden door against pelting rain or icy blasts.
Sanctuary,succour and consolation.It had been that way long before the first king of all England took the throne in 802 AD.
It is that now.