I got back to Britain a few days ago, and have spent the last few days staying with another alumna of the Big Ben to Brussels hike, Jane Hornsby. She and her husband live in Steventon, a small village outside Oxford, that boasts more than its fair share of lovely old houses. Jane’s house dates back to the 1500s.

I had a great time walking around the village with my new Sony NEX-5N, rediscovering the joys of photography. Wherever I am in the world (or at least, the land-based parts of it), I like to get out for a morning walk. It gets the blood flowing and allows a gentle transition from sleep into wakefulness. The challenge I face is that my brain cranks into top gear very soon after waking, and my walk has all too often been punctuated by pauses while I punch another item into the To Do list on my iPhone. I finish my walk and realise I don’t even know where I’ve been, because all my focus has been on what I have to do that day.

Photography cures this. It takes me into a different mindset, and quietens my chattering brain. I look around me and take notice of my surroundings, searching out interesting or quirky things to photograph. There is plenty of time later on in the day for my brain to get busy, so this hiatus of calm is much appreciated. I arrive back after my walk feeling refreshed rather than stressed before the day has even begun. It’s my walking/photographing meditation.

Here are some of the results – my pictures of Steventon. Enjoy!

The ancient causeway that runs through Steventon. Historians estimate it was built in the mid 13th century.

 

Moss between the cobbles of the causeway
An ancient ivy
It's the houses that are tilting, not the photographer - honestly!
Jane's house, where I was staying, overlooks the mile-long causeway

19 Comments

  • Lovely pix, Roz.
    Lovely message!

    When I wander with camera, I get so focused on framing the scenes and close ups, it’s a wonder that I ever get to where I’m going …

    Cheers!

  • what a lovely place :)…..mindful moments.
     Thanks for the photo tour Roz…superb pictures 🙂
    regards,
     David church

  • Wow, your pictures gave me a quite unexpected emotional moment there!  In 1974-5 I lived and worked in Oxford and thoroughly loved the countryside around the ancient city. Living in the California desert has made me very homesick for greener places I’ve known, but Oxford hadn’t come up in my memory until I saw these pictures.  Now I’m flooded with memories–not all of them countryside–there were some glorious old pubs with wonderful and unique food scattered around Oxford back then (pâtés at the Radcliffe Arms, pot pies at the Victoria Arms, and hefty salmon sandwiches at the Bricklayers Arms), and then there was dinner at the Charwell Boathouse!

    I do hope some of those places are still there serving the same amazing food, and I hope you get to enjoy at least some of them before moving on to your next port of call.  

    Thanks for the “moment” with your beautiful images!

    • Claire, now you have me salivating for Oxford fodder and libations. You and Roz could start a travel consultancy … and I would be among your first patrons. I am planning to “retire” on the Spring Equinox (symbolic new life) and will be willing and able to rendezvous with you two soon thereafter. As mentioned previously, I will be transitioning quickly to study ‘slow living’ so perhaps we could have a ‘slow’ ‘transition’ conference for those who are slow-inclined.

      • I am anm certainly “slow inclined” Uncadog…Oxford would suit me as the slow venue…I live half an hour away …or longer if I go slow 🙂
        regards, David Church

    • You’re welcome, Claire!

      I did very well for food staying with Jane in Steventon – she buys local and seasonal – but you’re right, Oxford has some great eateries. Apart from the pubs, one of my favourite cafes is Greens on St Giles, which has lots of organic options. And free Wifi!

      Roz Savage
      Ocean Rower and Environmental Campaigner
      First Woman to Row Three Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian
      National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010
      Author of “Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean”

      https://www.rozsavage.com

  • I’m with you, Roz. When I have my camera I am able to focus in on the moment. Your pictures are beautiful. I’m glad to hear you were able to leave behind the stresses of the day and enjoy nature.

    All the best, Roz.

  • What’s with the giant door?  Most likely the airship loft- So you’ve gone round the planet via rowing boat and there is little doubt you
    are the bravest of all former girl guides, but you cant dance-Next?

    Your friend, Texino

  • spot on with your insights again dear Roz…. reminding me to ‘try harder’ with the distractions in the morning that stop me going for my intended early walk !
    ……and truly beauty-full pics…..   Thanks

  • Thanks for the great fall pictures Roz.  Beautiful trees, historic buildings  and causeways and a good suggestion, a walk outdoors in the frosty morning, that is where I am headed and a look at the mountains with three feet of new snow.      Cheers,  Stephen

  • Nice post, Roz. I passed along your blog link to my PR contact at Sony. They’re not very responsive to our requests to review their equipment (not wise PR-wise), so who knows if they’ll notice, but worth a shot. 

    • Thanks, Joan – you never know!

      Roz Savage
      Ocean Rower and Environmental Campaigner
      First Woman to Row Three Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian
      National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010
      Author of “Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean”

      https://www.rozsavage.com

  • Yes, yes, I hear you Roz, photograhy takes me there too. I’m off to Bali for a week of photography and connecting with the local folk. Taking nothing but what I can carry on board the plane – I did think of you and your ability to travel/live light!
    I’m glad you’ve found a good camera.

    • Have a GREAT time in Bali. It’s amazing! Where will you be staying? Can’t wait to see the pictures!

      Roz Savage
      Ocean Rower and Environmental Campaigner
      First Woman to Row Three Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian
      National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010
      Author of “Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean”

      https://www.rozsavage.com

  • Just back to Iowa from a trip to Bled, Slovenia and only pictures preserve the thread in my mind.  Lasting memories of travel include thoughts of “what can I do to make this a better world?”  Your feats and continuing pursuits are blueprint for us “commoners.”  We hail your efforts!

    • Thank you!

      Roz Savage
      Ocean Rower and Environmental Campaigner
      First Woman to Row Three Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian
      National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010
      Author of “Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean”

      https://www.rozsavage.com

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