Where's your go to place for peace?

I live in the inner city of Canberra, so there are always the noises of the city, traffic, people, although the city is fairly quiet compared to many others, particularly as we are now in lock-down.
Canberra is known as the ‘bush capital’, so there are lots of small parks and open spaces, with lots and lots of trees and birds.
Next to the complex where I live there is a large playing field that stretches for miles (sorry, kilometres just doesn’t sound right). Although I have difficulty walking far, I use it as much as I can. It is a great, green space in the city where I can always find a breath of fresh air and some peace and quiet. It’s like a bit of countryside in the city.

Note to Stephen:
I like the idea of walking along canals. I find them fascinating, their history and the people who used and use them. I also liked your mention of Birmingham. I was born there, and although I was young when we left, I still have memories. One of them is the hump-backed bridge over a canal that we crossed when going to visit grandad.
Oh, and thanks for the picture! Great!


Someone in my neighborhood made a beautiful spot full of real and fake flowers to bring peace to people as we all feel isolated and depressed in the pandemic. The sign is written from the perspective of the flowers and says something like “in order to bring peace/calm to all of you, we are doing our best to bloom with all our might. So come look at us any time and pray for smiles, your happiness, everyone’s happiness~~hang in there”

Sorry I’m a terrible translator but I really appreciate whoever did this. I live in the middle of urban sprawl so I never get to see greenery. A few months ago I got to go out and hear trees rustling against each other and it was the most beautiful sound and soothed my animal soul


I’m currently walking along Coventry Canal. To the left of me is a metal breakers yard, and just ahead, if you look through the overhanging trees, you might just make out a bridge.

That’s the M6, near junction 3. Yes, there is some background noise, but it is still extremely peaceful and feels like I’m in the countryside.

How do the trees stop all that noise? It’s baffling!

I’m now at Hawkesbury Junction. On the left is the Coventry Canal, and on the right is the Oxford Canal, and I’m on the bridge where the two meet. The lock has a drop of 6 inches, making it one of the smallest drops in the country. Apparently James Brindley made a small miscalculation when he tried to connect the two canals together.

It isn’t quite as peaceful as usual, given that there is someone behind me with a chainsaw trimming branches. Ah well…

Almost at Bedworth now. Here’s a couple of pics of the stretch between Hawksbury Junction and the bridge I’m getting off at.

I cannot begin to describe how peaceful it is. There is a faint thrum of narrow boats in the distance, and the wind in the trees, but that’s really it.


Anywhere on my bike. It’s a 40-min vacation. Longer, if I’m lucky.


One of the things I love with Madeira is the variety of nature. I love, love, love walking along the levadas and just…relax my brain. It’s not recommended to walk alone, so I’m usually with a group - but I can still shut them out mentally.

The smell is fantastic, a mixture of flowers, fruit, water and eucalyptus. This walk leads to the waterfall I posted earlier. I wish I could do more walks. It soothes my soul


A good book or a movie. I put my headphones on and go into another world.


You live on Madeira? I’m jealous!
I was there on an biology (species identification and ecology IIRC) trip for University.
I love the huge variation in climates and ecosystems you have on Madeira, you have almost everything!

Also, the best bread I have ever tasted.

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Well, yes and no! I live on a sailing boat, and due to covid and repairs we got stuck/choose to stay on Madeira. It’s been a year now :sweat_smile:

The diversity is really unbelievable, you’ve got the ocean, mountains, forests and still a bigger city. I love it here. We even had snow in the winter


Usually just chill in my bedroom with music on, or I go for a wander in a big warehouse store and just be for a while looking at random crap I neither want or need.

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I love the beach but I’m about 6 hours away from it so only get to go a few times a year. So we call it Salt Water Therapy, and my fiance / kids know after several months they’ll be like “Honey need salt water therapy?” Yessss. Out side of that, I retreat to my room and binge watch a show, or cuddle with Wendy my blue and gold. She is very receptive to my stress level and almost always will do something to make me laugh. Unless of course she is my reason for stress like yesterday. lol.

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This is gorgeous wow.

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You live on a sailing boat? Now I’m even more jealous!
I’m going sailing again next month, for the first time in years. Just a daytrip on the lake though.

Sailing as a living is a dream of mine, but financially tough to do. How do you make your money?

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I retreat into Netflix and just hang out with Picard and crew on the USS Enterprise.

If I have Star Trek on in the background when I am coming up with titles for NAR stories you might find sometimes Trek references sneak in… either that or I just steal whole Star Trek episode titles wholesale…


Off topic, have you seen any of these Star Trek Intake videos? Ryan of the channel Ryan’s Edits will insert an outtake from Star Trek (fluffed line, prop breaking, cast being silly) and insert it seamlessly into the original broadcast scene.

His first one is here:

He does a new one every Friday at 8pm BST, so only 45 minutes until the next one!


Yes :slight_smile: A 43 feet dufour :heart:

Pre-corona we were working with tourists, with cabin charter. That means we had guests book a cabin for a week and then live and sail with us :slight_smile:

Of course, the last two years hit us hard and have been really rough, so I’ve started studying as a “hobby”, when I’m done I will probably do some online freelancing as well.

Tbh, anyone with home office can do boat office :slight_smile:

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For me, it would be either Ocean Beach,

or Shelter Island.


Wow those are beautiful photos of the ocean!

Here are some photos from my walk through a cemetery, so fascinating how these kinds of places can be sad but peaceful.

Also saw these angry Buddhist statues that are often in pairs outside temples. I thought they’d make a great timely meme


While the weather is good it’s time for more peaceful canal strolls. Just got on the canal towpath by Bordesley Station in busy Birmingham and already it’s like the sound has been switched off. I plan on staying on the canals to the art museum and then perhaps a quiet stroll through there too.

There is a lot of urban art around here which adds to the bizarre juxtaposition of the countryside and inner city. Like this wall near Bordesley Junction.

And just opposite this wall, on a building wall by the canal edge is what I think is my new favourite bit of graffiti.

I don’t know what their backstop is, but I’m imagining these are the avian equivalent of Abbott and Costello.

Found them again!

I really hope it’s an entire narrative!

As you travel into Birmingham, more and more of the city starts making itself known, albeit quietly.

This is the second tunnel I’ve been through today. By the time I get to the Jewellery Quarter, it won’t be tunnels I go under, but buildings!

In case anyone has forgotten, I am in the middle of a city, close to one of the busiest motorway junctions in the country.

The photo above is taken just by Aston University Engineering Academy. And if I turn slightly to the right, you can see the red framework of the massive gas storage tanks that make an industrial sentinel that looks over M6 junction 6, better known as Spaghetti Junction.

It’s getting harder to avoid noticing the city, as the buildings get taller and taller and closer together. But even among these modern structures, the past is still visible.

All along the way there are pointers to the past, telling all those who stop and look what went on there, and when.

Most of the time.

I am now on the edge of The Jewellery Quarter, and from here on it’s more or less underground…ish.

And now one over my shoulder…

And before you know it, you’re back in the inner city countryside!

That grey building in the distance is the Barclaycard Arena, previously known as the National Indoor Arena, and is also next to the canal junction that marks the end of this walk.

This country is so obsessed with roundabouts we put them in the canal!

Well, that concludes my canal stroll. If you’ve been following the live updates, I hope you weren’t bored waiting for each update… I’m not fast on this mobile lol!


They are gorgeous! They remind me of the pictures our London friends send from their long boat trips. One of these days, maybe we’ll get to join them!

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I enjoyed going through Birmingham when we had a narrowboat. I lived the dream when we moored up for supplies. Did a little bit of fishing and caught the legendary canal whale - complete with the tread on it!