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World Latitudes Feature

The World Latitudes Feature will showcase Latitudes from various locations around the world beginning with my own acquaintance to illustrate that despite ethnicity or national boundaries, every living being on the planet has a favorite Latitude.

Sunday
Feb272011

London, UK

Well, the thing about me is that currently I live in South West London and most people would have you believe that there are very few places that you could go in London to escape the stress of it all, and they would be right.

My latitude would be closer to my birthplace, Craigavon, Co. Armagh in Northern Ireland. 

A short walk from my house there are two man made lakes side by side. Every time I am home I try to set aside some time to have a stroll around these two lakes.  It takes just over an hour from I leave my front door.

Now, they are not the most picturesque by any means and sometimes the weather is as grim as Ireland can serve up, but there is something very calming and peaceful about them.

I choose to go on my own and I can just think about all the goings on and try to get them clear in my head.  As people pass you by they all say hello and smile, I do likewise.  No matter how happy / confused / stressed / bad I am feeling I always smile and say hello – I’m sure they are the same.

This is a great example of the principle behind Latitude.  For that brief moment, both of us passing on the pathway set aside everything and smile!

If I was to meet someone at every step along the way, I’d be smiling the whole time!!

The thing about the walk around the lakes is that once you get yourself half way round there are no shortcuts back – you have to either keep going or turn around, but either way you have to walk the same distance!  When this is the choice I’m sure there would be very few that would turn around!

There’s something about knowing there are no shortcuts.  It just means that you have to accept it and get on.  It gives you one less thing you have to think about e.g. How can I shorten this? That is the reason why it makes the lakes my Latitude.

I stop thinking about the actual walk, the distance, the time.  I simply use the time to go over in my head all the things I’m thinking/stressing/worrying about and try to work them out.  I tell myself that there are rarely any shortcuts and if I need reminding I look at the lakes.

I get a lot from just walking round those lakes, be it time to myself, time to think, time to not think and also a great blast of nature.  No matter where I am and I find myself thinking of wanting to be some place better, I think that I would like to be at the lakes, just taking my time and taking it all in. 

What I am trying to say, is that when I want to get away and to rise above things – I want to get myself to my Latitude.