I used to walk all the time when I lived in Manhattan – it’s part and parcel of life there. But since moving away from the city that never sleeps, I’ve gotten considerably more sedentary and that’s not necessarily a good thing. I recently began what I hope will become a new habit – a daily morning walk. Nothing overly structured. No set plan, no hard and fast route. Just a good pace for at least an hour or so (more if I feel like it).
Early in the morning is my preferred time. It’s cooler and leaves me the rest of the day for doing other things – like work, herding cats, etc. So I’m now seeing Banbury in – literally and figuratively – a new light.
Yesterday, I headed into town via the canal, noticing a few things along the way:
- There are a lot more people using the canal footpath at that hour than I would have thought. Upon reflection, this makes sense since it is a nicer walk than along the streets and according to Google Maps, an ever so slightly quicker route into town from our neighborhood.
- All these days of high temps and unrelenting sun are gonna give Banbury a bumper crop of blackberries in the not too distant future. The brambles along many routes are already heavy with early fruit.
- There are so many ducks on the canal! I admit that last year – having witnessed the unfortunate demise of a duckling in the canal lock, I had assumed that sort of thing was always happening and the local duck population was at some level of risk. I don’t know if they are or if they are not but I was amazed, absolutely amazed at how many groups of 10 or more ducks I saw on the canalside section of my walk.
- There is no angle from the street where St. Mary’s Church doesn’t look amazing.
- We have street sweepers! I saw two. Do we have street weeders? The pedestrian areas – especially under the benches – could use a bit of a de-greening.
- BBs, the coffee and muffins shop, has had a refreshing facelift! It had been quite dark and a bit stick in the early 80s. But it’s a much brighter, cleaner look now. May have to check it out … always seemed a bit past it before. I love a good muffin. Anyone have any suggestions for which I should try? I’ll make the walk an extra long one to make up for the additional calories … honest, I will.
- The corner table outside of Caffe Nero is a superb people watching spot first thing in the morning and their iced latte isn’t half bad. I don’t tend to go into Caffe Nero very often. The outdoor tables (which I greatly prefer) are usually jam-packed and there are so many indie options for caffeinating (again, which I greatly prefer). But at 7:30am, 8:00am – it’s open, it’s not crowded and it is centrally located.
I’ll definitely be looking around at early morning Banbury more often. It’s rather gorgeous.