A Stroll in the Park

With the sudden onset of summer (only three months late) I decided to go for a stroll through Singleton Park and down to the bay. It’s about 1.5 miles from my house and in the early morning, it’s a pleasant walk.

When I was growing up, we’d often stay with my grandparents who use to live just down the road. The highlight of any visit was ‘going to the sands’, which is what I called Swansea Bay. I can still remember one horrendous day when we got to ‘the sands’ only to find that several JCBs were loading up the sand onto big lorries. I was devastated and convinced that the sand wouldn’t be there the next time I visited. The sand was being taken to Blackpool!

This morning I made my way through the park, past squirrels searching for the last stores before winter and dogs eager to get to the beach. Across the empty main road, I sat on a bench with the sun in my face and watched the waves gently lapping up against the shore. The tide was nearing its highest point; the sea was flat and calm.

I love watching the different people as they walk along the sea shore. Today, most people were walking dogs although there were a number of joggers as well. The style of jogging varies between the serious sports person, pacing themselves and the recreational jogger, barely moving faster than a medium paced walk. I have, in the past, overtaken ‘joggers’ with little more than a strolling pace. There are sprinters, those who only jog a few hundred yards and then turn back; others who treat it as a marathon and who are probably running the entire south coast of Wales judging by the sweat and puffing and panting. Few people just walk, like I was doing. I wonder what people watching me think?

I walked along the sand at the edge of the sea for a mile or so before taking another break to enjoy the atmosphere. By now the sea had come in as far as it was going to and over to my right I could see a sandbank on which were a number of birds, including a young heron. Herons have always proved elusive for me but I thought I’d try and get a photo of this one. I set about slowly approaching it. I lined up with a bush on the shore so I wouldn’t stand out against the sky. I walked slowly and diagonally towards it. Every so often I stopped to take a photo in case it decided to fly away. Of course, it did eventuall but I was pleased at how close I got.

The walk back was more strenuous as I pushed the pace and it was all uphill. According to my heart monitor, I burned up 440 calories, 11gm fat and my peak heart rate was 142 bpm.

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