I had a couple of hours to spare this afternoon to get out for a bit of a walk with the hound. Actually, I never have time to spare, too many projects in the go, maybe ‘allocated’ is a better phrase. And yes I did *some* chores, although not as many as I *should* have of course.
Anyway – with a couple of hours to hit the hills, I was wondering where to go. I considered one of the Walkers Are Welcome walks I haven’t done yet or maybe heading straight up the hill to the Heritage Trail to get some views?
The subject of how / why I choose one walk over another has been front of mind for a couple of days, as I’m taking part in a long-range survey (over August). I can’t say anything much as have been asked not to by the organisers but suffice to say that the act of being observed must have impacted my behaviour!
And impacted it to the extent that the idea of using a dice to decide where to go came to mind. Not something I’ve ever done before. I’m not sure why it popped into my head other than I was musing “head out through back of the house and up the hills, or head out the front door and towards the canal and the hills? hmm” and to let a dice decide seemed an interesting idea. I read the Dice Man years ago (now that’s a teenage thought provoker of a book ..) and I know there’s also a school of travel (and an old TV programme?) that uses dice to decide where to go next. My ambitions were less, well, ambitious. Mooch about with the dog on a 2 hour journey, with any major intersection maneuvers decided by the roll of a dice. Or the tap of my phone as it happened – there’s an App for everything!
So that’s what we did.. ‘surrendered to the dice’ which is slightly unsettling to start with but worked out fine. I had a notional ‘get out of jail card’ rule that if the dice has me turning into a field full of cows or through a farm-yard etc I’d over-rule it/them. But it did result in a meandering trip up the hills, along a nettle-cramped path (thanks dice), back down into the valley (I wanted to stay high up but seemed a bit too soon to be bending the rules..) , through some industrial heritage (Bank Bottom Mill) , back up the hill, along one of the reservoirs (and more industrial heritage) and then home .. all decided by the dice. Throwing an Even meant turn right or straight on, throwing an Odd meant left or straight on (depending on angle of the paths). I didn’t come across any 3 or 4-way paths otherwise I’d have had to devise a new ‘instruction’ from the dice.
I added to the ‘serendipitousness factor’ by taking photos with the Vignette camera app. You can set it to have ‘random’ light leaks. Yes it is digital not analogue but letting an algorithm change how a photo will look seemed to tie in with the dice-vibe of the journey.
The dice took me on a couple of paths I hadn’t actually walked before, even in the short time we had. And it also took me up to Butterley reservoir, an area I know well and would probably have chosen not to walk up as it’s too familiar, as it were. But I got to see the drained Res, so for those two reasons in themselves it was a worthwhile, enjoyable ‘theme’ for a walk.
Here are the photos :