Hey everyone. I hope you’re all well and good and I hope you’re all in good mental health. Today, I’m going write about my latest session at Burgh Castle, and what we as the Burgh Castle Almanac Experience group got up to. You’ll also get to see something random I made out of clay.

On the 14th September our Burgh Castle walk coincided with the latest Heritage Open Day, on which we invited people to come along with us and pick our brains about the site. I also had a small victory: I didn’t go out in my big parker coat. That, for me, was a big step. At the village hall where we all meet up, we had tea and coffee before we set off. I don’t drink tea or coffee; I was on the hard stuff – Pepsi Max, ha ha!

We were all abiding to Covid-19 rules, but still talking to each other and catching up, because I missed the last meeting and it felt like I hadn’t seen everyone for ages. Before we set off, Ian, the group facilitator, mentioned he had some clay that he thought some us would like to use when walking around the site. The person I was standing next to said, ‘Shall we go halves on a piece?’ and I responded ‘That sounds like a plan.’ You all know I hate all things arts and crafts, and normally I’m the first one to curse about it.

Just before we set off it started to rain, and I was thought, ‘Lovely! I haven’t got my coat!’ It wasn’t raining hard so I thought I could cope; it was quite refreshing, to be fair. We set off and as we walked we shared stories, chatted away about random stuff and generally put the world to rights. Some people in the group asked me about what I was doing that evening, as I was delivering a workshop, an introduction to mental health. They all wished me well, which boosted my confidence. We take some fixed-point photographs on the walk, too – shots that show the area at at different points through the year. When we got to the first one, I couldn’t believe how overgrown everything was from the last time we visited. It looked nice, though: I had a sense of feeling submerged in a green wall (if that make sense). When we got to the little bridge that overlooks the Broads, we stopped to take a look at the river. People said there were fish splashing around. I didn’t see any, but the bridge is one of my favourite spots on the site to relax and recharge myself.

My photo of one off my favourite spots at the roman fort

We were making our way to the Roman fort when one of the members noticed some blackberries. We picked some then walked over to the main spot where the berries were big and juicy. I must go back in couple weeks to get some more; they’re so nice and tart.

Photo taken by Ian Brownlie the groups leader

We sat near the remains of the fort’s wall for our lunch, and some of us started to have a mess around with the clay we were given. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but wasn’t sure if I’d get anything like what I wanted to make – a vase. I’ve been told what I produced looked like a… well, I’ll leave that to your imagination, ha ha! After lunch, we started walking back to the hall. I was talking with another chap from the group and a flock of geese flew over our heads. I was gutted that I didn’t manage to catch them in a picture or video. I was too late again when the second flock flew over us. I thought they were winding me up, haha! The little buggers.

Photo taken of my clay vase what do you think it looks like

When we got back to the hall, we discussed what we wanted to include in our Almanac, a book about the two-year project. I felt a sense of pride, because I was asked if I would like to include my blogs. I’ve said yes and can’t wait to see how they look in the book. I’m buzzing!

Thank you for reading this blog and wish you all good mental health. Remember to take some time to relax, whether it’s five minutes, an hour or a full day. Just do it.

One comment

  1. Love it John

    Such a beautiful place and great for head space

    You did do well to not hide away in your Parker and maintain it through the day

    Love your vase, sure you have must your vacation in life

    Love your pictures, especially the vase!!

    Great blog and as inspirational as your others

    Thank you john

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