To the woods, to the woods…


2016-02-27 12.01.02From time to time, we set out on a walk with a fixed purpose – yes, beyond coffee and cake somewhere along route. Goodness, do you think I’m fixated?

Saturday was a case in point. And Thursday before that. Photographs of crumbling and or lichen covered brickwork were needed. An art project for you know who. Well Dog and thee are always game and I had a rather neat idea.

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See, there are a fair few walls hereabouts in South London. And a lot are brick. London loves brick. Common. Ubiquitous. Did I ever tell you that the Archaeologist, prone to ego as much as me, wanted to show off his knowledge of moths. There are some pretty dull jonnies in the moth world which are described as ‘ubiquitous’. Well he’s ten or some such when he describes these dull little fellows as ‘umbiquos’. Common things will always be umbiquos in my family.

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Where was I? Bricks.

Yep lots of bricks but mostly well maintained and free of growth. The modern tendency is to avoid the clammy and the crumbling when it comes to homes and go for the scrubbed and the sanitised. Front garden walls are ok to let go a little but even there the height is an issue. A lot of bending. Not good on the knees.

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But then there are the Woods. Er, I hear you intone. Don’t woods have, like, trees and stuff?

Maisย oui, bien sรปr. Save that Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Woods also have, at the rear, a line of about 20 plots where once Victorian houses sat. Why they collapsed I know not – neglect, subsidence – but collapse they did so now we have a fantastic play area of crumbling brick paths, walls and cellars, overcome with ivy and creepers, moss and lichens.

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Dotted in amongst is the disused railway line and tunnel that featured in my short story recently as well as ornamental trees from when this section was privately owned. The Sequoias are pretty amazing.

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The Texiliste took a fair few images. Dog made bold with his nose, hunting out trails and uri-coating many a post. And me? I thought of a post about my father’s vegetables and his battles with my grandmother over the same. It’s an easy spot to revert to the past.

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We’d also hunted out some brick work in Crystal palace park a day or two before but I was distracted by some rather bizarre and, yes, creepsome imagery. The sort of thing for flash fiction prompts, maybe?

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What do you think?

What about him?


This is part of Jo’s Monday Walks series, here

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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35 Responses to To the woods, to the woods…

  1. restlessjo says:

    Very fetching, that last shot, Geoff! ๐Ÿ™‚ Please delete the comment in your About page. Maybe I was too quick off the mark? Thanks for the link ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sacha Black says:

    lol, loved the last picture, some of those disused brick ones are quite spectacular too. Hey, I am named after a moth, not Sacha, obvs!


  3. gordon759 says:

    I had forgotten about umbiquos, thanks for reminding me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anabel Marsh says:

    Green monster’s a bit scary but the one in the red hat is *terrifying*!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jan says:

    Friar Geoff? Great pics – I didn’t you had sequoias in UK!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mick Canning says:

    Great pictures, Geoff. And I think we’re all agreed about the last one…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such an intriguing place you live Geoff – sequoias in the middle of suburbia! I have so many questions about your bizarre and creepsome imagery ……….. Why giant lizards? for example. And who is that shadow holding the stick aloft? What are those concrete things floating on the pond? And why does the red hatted monk look so familiar?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A nice bit of color against that grey stone body. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
    Love all the pictures. Amazing what you find when you look. Of course, some places are more interesting than others, like the one you chose to wander. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Allie P. says:

    Very nice old school Iguanodons. Very creepy statue though

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A strange place you meandered–enjoyed that! And that red cap makes the last photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Now being mostly stone, will you still be coming to the bash, or should we send a crane to fetch you?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Charli Mills says:

    Amazing to wander about in such places. Whenever I find the ruins of an old cabin or farm, I think, this was once someone’s dream. Hmm, I spy something for a flash…don’t mind if I rob a photo do you? Love that lat shot! A bit stiff in your stance, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. merrildsmith says:

    Thanks for sharing your walk–and the great photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Springtime in Shincliffe | restlessjo

  15. Pingback: March 9: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch Communications

  16. Norah says:

    I enjoyed taking this walk with you in the woods, Geoff. Seems like a nice place to be, despite the monsters. I agree they make excellent flash fiction prompts, and I’m pleased Charli thought so too. The final one looks vaguely familiar and maybe a touch sinister. I’m not quite sure where I’ve seen it before!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Norah says:

    I forgot to say, I love the word ‘umbiquos’, and enjoyed your short story. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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