'The Path Less Travelled'?

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Robert Frost once said "Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."

Have you ever decided to take a different route, maybe one that was obviously less well used, through what was previously familiar territory, and encountered unusual things that you would not otherwise have???

By way of example.....when I was about 26 (so maybe around 1992 - must have been whatever 40 years jubilee was), I had been out to a local forest with friends for an evening of drinking by a campfire (and maybe some other ....er....'substances'....) and on the way back, rather than follow the easy route via footpaths with streetlights on, we decided to cut across an area of wasteland/scrub/common, which was a slightly shorter route but rather dark. We knew our way across here in the daylight, and night-time was not that difficult, heading toward the lights of houses.
Anyhoo, we hadn't got far when we came across the most bizarre construction that (as far as we knew) wasn't there the last time we had been there, only a few days previous.
It was this one solid square post, some 6 inches across, and something like 30 feet tall (the bottom was in a hole in the ground, probably cemented in place), and atop this pole was a large metal bucket which must have been 3 or 4 feet across, but with open sides.
It didn't seem to have any purpose, so we were rather perplexed by why this was there?

We found out in the following days that it had been placed there to be used as a 'beacon' for some royal jubilee thing, so it was stuffed with wood and straw etc and set alight one night.
But still. Had we not decided to go down 'the path less travelled' we would not have known about it.

A recent Jubilee Beacon in Lowestoft.
1658676810158.png
 
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ChrisBoardman

Justified & Ancient
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1,263
I've always liked to be a little bit different.

I remember in 2008 when I was living in Maidenhead, I would often take the train to Marlow for a night out at a weekend.

The last train would leave Marlow at 12:11 (just after midnight), so I would leave the pub at 11:50 to be safe.

One night I was a bit drunk having a good time and decided I would stay in the pub until the end and walk home, knowing it would be a good 2-3 hour walk. But it was a warm summer night.

Armed with kebab meat and chips I set off on my long walk. I enjoyed it, but my feet did ache when I got home.

The funny bit was after I crossed the A404 at the Bisham roundabout and walked up the hill a car coming the other way passed me and immediately stopped and did a u-turn.

It passed me while driving round a bend so I would have been in its headlights very briefly.

Feeling scared I hid behind a tree, the car slowly went past me and a bit further on did another u-turn and carried on its way.

Probably more likely to be a taxi driver than a murderer.

To this day he probably thinks he saw a ghost.
 
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Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
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I've always liked to be a little bit different.

I remember in 2008 when I was living in Maidenhead, I would often take the train to Marlow for a night out at a weekend.

The last train would leave Marlow at 12:11 (just after midnight), so I would leave the pub at 11:50 to be safe.

One night I was a bit drunk having a good time and decided I would stay in the pub until the end and walk home, knowing it would be a good 2-3 hour walk. But it was a warm summer night.

Armed with kebab meat and chips I set off on my long walk. I enjoyed it, but my feet did ache when I got home.

The funny bit was after I crossed the A404 at the Bisham roundabout and walked up the hill a car coming the other way passed me and immediately stopped and did a u-turn.

It passed me while driving round a bend so I would have been in its headlights very briefly.

Feeling scared I hid behind a tree, the car slowly went past me and a bit further on did another u-turn and carried on its way.

Probably more likely to be a taxi driver than a murderer.

To this day he probably thinks he saw a ghost.
I think if I'd seen somebody do that, I'd have done the same as you.
 

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Joined
Aug 9, 2001
Messages
10,654
Robert Frost once said "Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."

Have you ever decided to take a different route, maybe one that was obviously less well used, through what was previously familiar territory, and encountered unusual things that you would not otherwise have???

By way of example.....when I was about 26 (so maybe around 1992 - must have been whatever 40 years jubilee was), I had been out to a local forest with friends for an evening of drinking by a campfire (and maybe some other ....er....'substances'....) and on the way back, rather than follow the easy route via footpaths with streetlights on, we decided to cut across an area of wasteland/scrub/common, which was a slightly shorter route but rather dark. We knew our way across here in the daylight, and night-time was not that difficult, heading toward the lights of houses.
Anyhoo, we hadn't got far when we came across the most bizarre construction that (as far as we knew) wasn't there the last time we had been there, only a few days previous.
It was this one solid square post, some 6 inches across, and something like 30 feet tall (the bottom was in a hole in the ground, probably cemented in place), and atop this pole was a large metal bucket which must have been 3 or 4 feet across, but with open sides.
It didn't seem to have any purpose, so we were rather perplexed by why this was there?

We found out in the following days that it had been placed there to be used as a 'beacon' for some royal jubilee thing, so it was stuffed with wood and straw etc and set alight one night.
But still. Had we not decided to go down 'the path less travelled' we would not have known about it.

A recent Jubilee Beacon in Lowestoft.
View attachment 57483

Armada beacon, 1988?

maximus otter
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Messages
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That's 4 years earlier - but possible. I would have been 22, however I would have only just moved to St Albans, and didn't spend much time in Borehamwood then.

Also, strangely, the link you give takes me to a page which no longer displays correctly on my browser - something that I haven't had happen for years!
The various blocks of text and headings all overlap each other, and the images have the little icon in the corner of their frame instead.
1658739906348.png
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Messages
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Ah yes much better thanks.
 

JahaRa

Ephemeral Spectre
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My path less traveled was joining the army in 1974. Women did not usually do that, but I wanted a college degree and my dad had me convinced that I was too stupid to hold a job and go to school at the same time. (actually I had done that my whole high school years, but it was not a "real" job as I was an unpaid servant of the family business). The army was a good way for me to get out into the world and learn how things really are and meet a lot of different people.
 

Floyd1

Justified & Ancient
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My path less traveled was joining the army in 1974. Women did not usually do that, but I wanted a college degree and my dad had me convinced that I was too stupid to hold a job and go to school at the same time. (actually I had done that my whole high school years, but it was not a "real" job as I was an unpaid servant of the family business). The army was a good way for me to get out into the world and learn how things really are and meet a lot of different people.
Yes, the armed forces can be a great life for many people. It can also set you up well for other jobs once you leave too.
 

JahaRa

Ephemeral Spectre
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Yes, the armed forces can be a great life for many people. It can also set you up well for other jobs once you leave too.
Yet I would not recommend it now to anyone. It is very different now than it was in the 70's.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Every time I ever go anywhere but on the way there is a section of road which has cones across it and a sign that says "Road Closed" my immediate thought is always "Oh, I wonder which way I'll have to go instead?" in the hope that I see something out-of-the-ordinary.
One time on a dark, winter night driving up to Flint in north Wales I got directed off of the A41 due to a road closure, and I expected something interesting but all I got was an extra 45 minutes of driving in the rain down unfamiliar, small, twisty roads only to rejoin the A41 about half a mile further up from where I had to leave it.
I was not happy.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Messages
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I don't remember seeing anything of remark. It was dark and wet and I was running late. A 32 mile detour was the last thing I was expecting.
 

AgProv

Master of Uncertainty and Doubt
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Messages
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I've always liked to be a little bit different.

I remember in 2008 when I was living in Maidenhead, I would often take the train to Marlow for a night out at a weekend.

The last train would leave Marlow at 12:11 (just after midnight), so I would leave the pub at 11:50 to be safe.

One night I was a bit drunk having a good time and decided I would stay in the pub until the end and walk home, knowing it would be a good 2-3 hour walk. But it was a warm summer night.

Armed with kebab meat and chips I set off on my long walk. I enjoyed it, but my feet did ache when I got home.

The funny bit was after I crossed the A404 at the Bisham roundabout and walked up the hill a car coming the other way passed me and immediately stopped and did a u-turn.

It passed me while driving round a bend so I would have been in its headlights very briefly.

Feeling scared I hid behind a tree, the car slowly went past me and a bit further on did another u-turn and carried on its way.

Probably more likely to be a taxi driver than a murderer.

To this day he probably thinks he saw a ghost.
You were somebody else's phantom hitch-hiker!!
 

AgProv

Master of Uncertainty and Doubt
Joined
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Messages
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Every time I ever go anywhere but on the way there is a section of road which has cones across it and a sign that says "Road Closed" my immediate thought is always "Oh, I wonder which way I'll have to go instead?" in the hope that I see something out-of-the-ordinary.
One time on a dark, winter night driving up to Flint in north Wales I got directed off of the A41 due to a road closure, and I expected something interesting but all I got was an extra 45 minutes of driving in the rain down unfamiliar, small, twisty roads only to rejoin the A41 about half a mile further up from where I had to leave it.
I was not happy.
I feel your pain. I had a deflating sort of let-down when I heard a place existed in Flintshire with the evocative and almost-Fortean name of Bryn-y-Baal. I know in Welsh the derivation is not likely to be from "Baal" as in "a previous God demonised by the writers of the Bible because they feared the competition, considered synonymous with Satan". But I still wanted to go there and, you know, climb the hill and see if there was anything palpably weird or Fortean there.

Got there... not much of a hill and built over with what looked like council houses and ex-council houses. All the atmosphere of a launderette. Dissappointing. if it's "Devil's Hill" then the demon packed up and left a long time ago....
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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"Bryn-y-Baal takes its name from a Middle English word "bale" (rhymes with "Carl" in arhotic British English) meaning small hill. It was later written in a Welsh language form as 'bâl' with a circumflex over the "â". In Welsh this is pronounced as a long A. This form appears on early Ordnance Survey maps."

Indeed, rather less-than-interesting.
Part of Mynydd Isa, which is "also home to the recently awarded Best Kebab in Wales"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mynydd_Isa#:~:text=Bryn-y-Baal takes its,on early Ordnance Survey maps.
 

AgProv

Master of Uncertainty and Doubt
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"Bryn-y-Baal takes its name from a Middle English word "bale" (rhymes with "Carl" in arhotic British English) meaning small hill. It was later written in a Welsh language form as 'bâl' with a circumflex over the "â". In Welsh this is pronounced as a long A. This form appears on early Ordnance Survey maps."

Indeed, rather less-than-interesting.
Part of Mynydd Isa, which is "also home to the recently awarded Best Kebab in Wales"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mynydd_Isa#:~:text=Bryn-y-Baal takes its,on early Ordnance Survey maps.
That's the border country for you: the seashore where England and Wales meet and the two languages collide in interesting ways, with the Welsh being reshaped and sort-of-corrupted by contact with English. All the way from Connah's Quay right down to the Severn Estuary.

And... "Bryn-y-Baal" just means Hill The Hill. A bit like that place in England, Torpenhow, that can be translated as Hill-Hill-Hill-Hill-Hill because the word for Hill from several different languages all collide in the placename....
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Does the use of 'y' (pronounced 'ee') to mean 'the' in Welsh, have any lexicographical link to the use of þ (thorn) as in the word 'the' being written as 'ye', as in "Ye Olde Shoppe"?
If you know what I mean.
 

BS3

Abominable Showman
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It doesn't, but in the English spoken in the north Wales borders at least, people will add the definite article to some place names in a kind of hangover from Welsh, where they might have been preceded by "Y".

Let's say a place is called "Nant" (Welsh for valley, or a stream in a valley) on maps. People will usually say they are going to "the Nant".
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Ahah.
So, the listed building at Pen-y-nant near Wrexham then was probably most likely named after a water source, either 'Head of the valley' or 'Head of the stream'.
I like Welsh. I can't get my gob around the pronunciations though, mostly.
 

BS3

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Ahah.
So, the listed building at Pen-y-nant near Wrexham then was probably most likely named after a water source, either 'Head of the valley' or 'Head of the stream'.
I like Welsh. I can't get my gob around the pronunciations though, mostly.

Yes, "head of the valley" in modern / standard Welsh, but "head of the stream", traditionally, in this bit of Wales (Flintshire / Denbighshire), so I'd go with the latter.
 

BS3

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IIRC it was about 15 miles south of Whitchurch.
Bleak it was.

I like the area round Whitchurch - always seemed like a gentle, pastoral bit of the world to those of us from just over the border.

Also the Black Bear did excellent food and a pint, or did last time I was there a couple of years back.
 
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