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I love not man the less

Here is The Bean demonstrating the joy of being outside in uninterrupted open space.  The grass tickles her underside, the sun beats down on her topside and she is solitary except for the necessary human behind the camera capturing her off-season delight at a mountain to herself.  This was June last year but here it is mostly off-season

In the high range of extinct volcanos that spirals upwards to its climax at the Plomb du Cantal, July and August bring all manner of tourists.  Hikers, bikers (those using their own pedalling power and those with petrol horses between their leathered thighs), caravaners, motorists and wanderers.  For a couple of months it is difficult to get around without coming face to face with far too many bothersomes for my liking.  I’m a bit schitzophrenic about tourism to be honest – I want it and encourage it because I want the region to thrive but I detest it because I have the soul of a hermit.

It’s a family trait – I remember well a holiday in Scotland.  We normally went  on that unseasonal cusp between Winter and Spring, but for some reason, this particular year, the sharabang north happened in August.  We went to the gloriously named and, as it turns out, hugely popular, Trossocks.  Each day my father got us out of bed earlier and earlier in the morning and drove us hell-for-leather to avoid the ‘wagons ho!’ of caravans in convoys sometimes hundreds long winding relentlessly towards whatever beauty spot had been picked by one of them and  seemingly passed on to all the others by osmosis and which always seemed to coincide with whatever the parents had planned for our day out. From our hotel.  In our estate car. With no caravan.  We had no caravan.  We did not WANT a caravan.  The wagoners seemed quite happy to chug along nose to tail.  We werent.  Selfishly we preferred the wilderness to ourselves  and would park the car and stride or, more accurately scramble for those of us on more juvenile, less emphatic legs, penetrating deeper and further into the hills through prickly heather and crunchy bracken and the odd morass of unsolicited bog, each day dragging our picnic bags and groundsheets and rugs to happily enjoy some family isolation.  Every day, every SINGLE day at around 1 o’clock my father would bellow ‘bloody hell!’ as he spotted life trudging towards us.  We seemed to magnetically attract others.  I think the truth was that no-one else shared our desire to just BE in unperturbed nature without the company of strangers who, though Blanche Dubois took such comfort in the kindness of, sometimes, indeed mostly, one could not stand to be near.  I haven’t changed.

Off-Season suits me and was the title of this weeks photo challenge … many finer interpretations can be found here

IMG_2859PS:  The poetry lovers amongst you will have spotted that the title is stolen from The Lord Byron ‘I love not man the less, but nature more’ from There is Pleasure in The Pathless Woods which, albeit referencing  the seashore and woodlands rather than mountains, pretty much captures my attitude perfectly.

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. Superb photograph!
    My father liked solitude…he would take me walking well off the beaten tracks and I loved it. Time to look and think.

    In later period of life the Welsh rugby fanatic who often gathered those of us who worked in London to visit far flung friends from university would refer to caravans and camper vans as ‘carapox’ and ‘caraclap’ as he overtook them with much muck flying from the exhaust…

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2015
    • Your father and mine had a lot in common. The Rugger fanatics descriptive a for camper vans are noted and WILL be used 🙂

      Like

      June 14, 2015
  2. Great
    come to see mine here for Off season
    http://www.sylvain-landry.com/challenge/off-season.html

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2015
  3. Never been tempted by towing caravans or camper vans and they are certainly a pox on the D117 & D118, our only main roads here in our part of the Languedoc. They start in May and **** us off till September and cause traffic jam and bus delays

    I wouldn’t mind but they don’t contribute much to the local economy anyway- they don’t eat out much or spend on local entertainment, they avoid paying for campsites and most of the food basics are already in the freezer aboard!
    I know, I know, I’m generalising………………………………………

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2015
    • Rant away gal! I have taken on the mayor about the scourge of cars wagons that bring it all with them, plug into the facilities provided (by law) in the commune and do nothing but leave trash in the ground when they move on. Grrrrrrr

      Like

      June 14, 2015
  4. Off-season is definitely best. We love going up to the Auvergne in September, when the weather is generally settled, there are few tourists and we can enjoy un paysage that we love virtually uninterrupted. We haven’t been since Sept 13 and I have withdrawal symptoms. The Bean is clearly in 7th Heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2015
    • Come back soon to alleviate withdrawal symptoms but not before September!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 14, 2015
  5. We are always surprised when we meet anyone on our walks, it’s usually so quiet! Though we are mostly walking outside of the summer season. We are on a departmental “route” so get a few walkers and donkey walkers passing by in July and August. For us, we find Summer here usually too hot for anything very strenuous! Time for pottering in the garden in the morning and watching the Tour de France in the afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2015
    • I’m forced to walk in summer when the husband with two brains is here or he feels excluded from my fun! I like your ethos … A recipe for content if ever I saw it! Love donks by the way!

      Like

      June 14, 2015
  6. Loving the Bean’s ownership of the mountain.
    I wonder, does she ever regale you with any of the old Julie Andrews material from the S.O.M?

    Liked by 2 people

    June 14, 2015
    • She knows them all, Cam – hand taught by me … I used to use those very songs as threats to get the girls to school when they were small. Towit – if they were dragging their heels, pinching one another etc I would say ‘do you want me to sing the song? yes? ‘The HILLS are alive with the sound of music tralalalaaaaa’ – worked every time!!! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      June 14, 2015
  7. What a perfect photo of The Bean. I like to roll around in the grass when I find a spot like that. My People–the Lady in particular–share your preference for enjoying it in solitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 14, 2015
    • I think you dogs rolling in the grass just because you can defines joyous, Albert!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 15, 2015
  8. Arby #

    Thank you another lovely post. If there are any story lovers out there, then you should take a look at: Who’s that knocking at my door …. a brilliant, beautiful piece – Osyth’s best.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 15, 2015
  9. For the love of dog, that is one joyful pup. Brilliant photo! And I share your hermit’s heart. Hope you enjoy summer a-wandering without too many intruders.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 15, 2015
    • She’s a happy little soul …. I think a dog is a lesson on legs – give them a full belly, open air and the odd tickle in whatever their particular spot is and they are content! I wish you too a summer without too many botherers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      June 15, 2015
  10. Share your dislike of crowds (although, as a former European Coach Tour Director, I have played my part in herding groups around).

    Liked by 1 person

    June 16, 2015
    • Chapeau Michael, I could NOT do that job! I’ve done my share of cat herding but not on the move with tourists – sounds like sheer hell! You have though prompted me to share a story of long ago at some point. Watch this space and know you were the inspiration 😉

      Like

      June 16, 2015
  11. Byron, Auvergne, Scotland… love them all! ❤ so, you haven't changed: you're still yourself… et tant mieux! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    June 16, 2015
    • Just the same, lovely Melanie, just the same!

      Like

      June 16, 2015
  12. Love the photos and your little bit of autobiography Osyth. Made me think about my own father and holidays that are distant memories. And the quote from Byron – music to my ears. Warmest wishes as always from a doting new grandpa 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 1, 2015
    • My pleasure and so glad you enjoyed it … our father’s are part of us as we move forward even though they may have left the earth long ago … our tapestry which in your case you will now see enriched by being a new grandpa!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 1, 2015
  13. Perfect picture of a perfectly happy Bean 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2016

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