I caught the three carriage train from Warminster down to Salisbury this morning. The route follows the Wylye Valley. It is an area with a long history. Just down the road from Stonehenge it is guarded by great rounded hills with long abandoned forts. For such a quiet and rural place it is has had a long association with warfare and the military. The Land Warfare Centre and Barracks lies at the Warminster end. The valley, with its transport links, was chosen in the First World War as the site for huge tented camps.Soldiers came here for training as well as to prepare for embarkation to France and the trenches. Many of the churches have Commonwealth War Graves in them. Sutton Veny has an annual ANZAC service to which the New Zealand and Australian embassies send representatives.
The trip takes twenty minutes. There are no longer any intervening stations. I usually find some piece of work to do, but this morning I just looked at the valley with its fields and trees, trying to appreciate where I was rather than moving on to the next thing.
I haven’t adapted to life without the car yet. It’s not that I miss the car particularly. I think the problem is that I usually bike, run or row in order to relax, and find some part of my life which is not work. I enjoy my job, but I need refreshment.
At the moment it feels as if my relaxation has simply been absorbed into work. Twenty five miles seems like a long trip. If you asked me along for a twenty five mile ride outside Lent, my usual reply would be let’s make it 50 or a 100. It’s as if the separation, the boundary, between work and recreation has been dissolved only to find that everything is work.
This is not good. More looking out of the window is needed.