My dog, Ted, got me over my complete lack of confidence when it came to driving, by insisting in the early days that we went out at least once a week to visit new places, so I've decided to keep trying to get out as often as I can in his honour, even though it's hard right now, not just for reasons of grief but also Covid-19.
Arnos Vale is somewhere I wanted to get to before it closes again. The IsamBards did a poetry walk there in early spring and we had another planned for Midsummer's Day but ... well, you know the rest.
I missed wandering there through the summer, and now it's definitely autumn.
It's also a bit more overgrown than usual. It took Will and I a while to find my grandparents' and infant great-uncles' grave, even though I'd committed its whereabouts to memory. More or less.
Must get over there with some shears, we said, even though the grave is sinking between the roots of an ash tree.
In some places the cemetery's like a painting by Henri Rousseau.
I love this wild patch in the heart of Bristol.
I also love Clevedon, so we popped down there too. First stop was Clevedon Craft Centre, which I last visited 12 years ago.Then on to the beach, where we sat in the sand and scrabbled for sea glass, which was mostly too new and sharp-edged to be worth collecting. It was a lovely interlude, though ... ... on a windless day.
Out on the pier, I could see Church Hill, St Andrew's and Wain Hill, where we'd been on our last jaunt with Ted, when all had seemed well. Impossible to think that visit had been less than two weeks earlier.
There's somewhere else I've needed to go badly all year and that's Dartmoor. I didn't want to risk letting a whole year go by without setting foot on it.