On the Surface/on the Side



Across the open face of light some sober trails of vapour creep….”

Green and tan acorns knocking my helmet and cracking as they land; velvet lined chamois coloured nut shells, prickly outside; lusciously polished conkers and their bright green spiky caskets; auterminally crippled wasp, pivoting slowly around a pinned wing; great big low flying, drowsy Lancaster bomber wasps that can barely keep airborne; a bedraggled wet-furred road-kill stoat/weasel; likewise, one pancake flattened hedgehog; tremendous apple falls, rosey or pale yellow(delicious snacks for the taking); squished plums… No, too bright… it’s mashed beetroot and whole beets. (very nice with my hard boiled egg, later) an occasional glint of aluminum can or plastic bottle, a large red gardening gauntlet, a broom with red bristles, the insole of some shoe…

Of course I could mention the hoof-wrenching potholes or frost-lifted cobbles, but I can safely leave these to Sir G with his magnificent forks and sure tread. (cheers Dave, bike builder unbeatable!) he makes the transition from asphalt to other with no fuss or bother.

Alongside these autumnal deposits, blown leaves of all colours, caught by the grass verge like a tide mark; scattered blue flax in song; bright poppies still, between the grassy paving stones and clover; even my favourite little blo-cloker; massive old trees leaning and roaring in the wind (grateful for my rear view mirror as this makes the sound of approaching vehicles inaudible); field after field of greens and ponky cabbages ( O.Q.s, remember the trip down to the pavilions alongside the kitchen gardens?) a lake posing as another field of windswept vibrant green-blue cabbages! … My brain was obviously fixated on cabbages! Then suddenly I was precisely bridled by a perfectly fitting spray of ash leaves, whop! It was such a surprise!

An elderly plump bumble bee clutched my jacket on the back of my bike when I stopped in town. I was stroking it. He decided to follow me into the little shop and cling to my neck. I did try to help him back out again, but when he fell to the floor, a protective old man crushed him underfoot. I felt really sad, as he was so huge and so beautiful.

The fine down on an elderly woman’s face as she lovingly kissed me after helping me in the shop. She smelt faintly of some long forgotten face cream. The warm-bosomy clasp and tear-damp face of another farewell hug (I didn’t stay with this lovely woman for the night even though she would so have loved me to). The strong rough handshake of the widowed horseman and farmer who put me up last night with his lovely daughters and grandchildren. His magnificent animals pull winter sleighs… the genuine delight of 2 very well dressed women in the cultural centre in Stzum.. A request for a loo quite accidentally turned into a pause for a Chopin prelude and the first movement of Op. 110!!
Below the surface? I am not quite sure why I was in such a state for those first few days, but I am loving being here in Poland.



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8 Responses to On the Surface/on the Side

  1. annemarie says:

    The poetry is flowing while the legs are peddling along!! What a rock you are Jenny, and good hearing that you are slowly connecting with Poland !! We are covered in dust from sanding our floorboards, so no creative inspiration here, just the hard work and elbowgrease to get everything done in time to ( at last)to start my term!!! Oh dear I would love to swop the big commercial brush for a smaller one.. We are now planning a trip next year over land to Instanbul ( using the train network so sitting back rather ) but still an adventure. Who knows we manage to be at the same time in Budapest or so, that would be novel?? Had a break this afternoon to see the America’s Cup yachtracing in Plymouth, quite impressive and enjoyable in the sun and wind on the Hoe, rounded off by a teastop at Captain Jaspers unbeatable really …. lots of love xxx Annemarie

  2. Kay says:

    Reading this Jenny, I am almost there with you… You write so beautifully, it warms my heart… sent with love – Kay

    • jennyquick says:

      And I have had this picture with me this morning of your lovely face smiling at me. . . so rewarding that you and others are enjoying the blog. It gives me much joy and an outlet… Also, find myself thinking positively and creatively while on the move and noticing the wonders as I sail past them…”what to include/exclude etc.”
      Then if floundering, the support from back home is just such a rock. Who would have thought that I would become so enthusiastic about this medium?
      Much love to you, Jenny xxx

  3. Sheena says:

    Jenny your beautiful words and the images they evoke have worked their magic and restored my equilibrium..thank-you…beautiful autumn weather here…Pray for good weather for V erity,s birthday lunch party on sun.Parcels stashed in hut…back to the baking…much love….Sheenax

  4. Henrietta says:

    Really lovely to find time with a cup of tea to settle down to your blog. May your courage and lovely openhearted beauty continue to take you through Poland, looking forward to the next installment now!

    • jennyquick says:

      I am feeling so much gratitude. Crossing the Wisła this afternoon was one of those special sunlit moments. Seems after pedaling and endeavor to have an even deeper rewarding quality. Maybe partly that if it’s been a long run (today felt quite a way) my bottom is just so pleased to be relieved!!!!
      This weeks soul calendar ” …. forging from those dark places of the soul …. the fruit of will” feels very apt after feeling so challenged a week or so ago.
      The week’s verse sits in a clear plastic holder where I can see it on top of my bar bag and it’s often in long stretches of forest that I find myself attempting to memorise it. It can take the whole week and the more dense ones don’t always clarify by the time the week has passed.
      Several people point and ask what it is. The language of signing… I gesture to the sun and the earth and then put my hands together as in prayer and say Dziencuja(thank you) which is about the best I can do, but it makes for lovely, lovely connections.
      So glad to hear from you… I feel so ‘held’ by all the messages and thoughts from everyone back home and those people who have ‘picked me up’ on the way.
      With much love and blessings for the autumn term. Jenny xx

  5. Bill and Cherry says:

    Wow! Well done Jenny. Very interesting. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Lots of love, Bill and Cherry.

    • jennyquick says:

      I am so delighted to see you both online!!! I’m very impressed that you have wended your way through to the comments, as quite a few people seem to find it a bit tricky, which is a pity.
      I have had a wonderful sunny 70k (42mile) ride today and in a comfortable elderly hotel but with damp bedding. I am so glad to have sleeping mat, sheet and sleeping bag to fall back on, as they have clearly done their best.
      I will now have such a special place in my heart for the Polish…. their warmth and kindness have been so touching. What a wealth of experience.
      Lots of love to you both, and thanks so much for your message.
      Jenny xx

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