Beating The Commute Blues

September 26, 2017

I’ve been a bit slack on the commute front of late – a few too many mornings hopping on the train instead of the bike. I’ve also been too pushed for time to do nice circuitous commutes taking in countryside scenery and back roads, so I’ve been doing battle with the main A-road whenever I have gathered the energy for the commute. No wonder I’ve been taking the train.

However, this can’t continue. There are trousers without elasticated waists that need to be worn, muscles that need to be exercised, and a brain that needs to be flushed with endorphins. To try and perk myself up a bit and appreciate my commute a little more, today I decided to revisit my ‘sit up and notice things’ approach I talked about in Reasons To Be Cheerful, and veered off the main road onto the canal. Sure enough, there was plenty to see on this still autumnal morning. Some of it escaped my attempts to photograph it – the heron in the tree, the pair of jays on the path – but here are a few things that caught my eye. Maybe they’ll inspire you to postpone that fireside cuppa and go and see what’s on your doorstep.

Virginia creeper going full autumn.

The trees are only just turning, but this Virginia Creeper was already a gorgeous array of colours.

The first leaves are falling.

This was one of those super still days where the reflections on the canal are only disturbed by the occasional duck.

Dark and still.

I love this view on the canal, with the trees growing right up to and over the water creating a dark space, and the bend stretching off into the distance and towards the light.

Picture perfect bike path?

The houses you can just make out face the main road on the other side. On this side, though, the canal is wide and runs alongside the river, creating a quiet haven that is a world away from the busy road. Today there weren’t even the usual gaggle of geese to contend with, making for a peaceful ride by.

It’s all about to kick off.

The trees here are only just starting to turn, and the sky was grey today. Another week or two and it’ll be a display that’s well worth pedalling along here for. Maybe I’ll even catch one of those magical blue sky crisp mornings where your eyes tell you it should be warm, but your frozen ears tell you otherwise.

Lazy hazy morning ride.

Commuting, it’s all too easy to forget to look around you altogether. Or to only ever see one direction in morning light, and the other in the afternoon or evening. Today I remembered to stop and look behind me, and caught the sun trying to break through the cloud above this crag.

And so I arrived at work, a little later than usual, but lighter of mood. Next step: to keep going when the rain is falling and the wind is blowing. I might not stop and take photos then.

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