Lost on the Surrey/Sussex Borders

So far 2017 seems to be The Year of Not Blogging, but hopefully that will change. It is also the year when language comes under fresh assaults from people who call lies alternative truths.

But let’s draw a veil over the last few days and think of something else, something that reminds me why the world is somewhere I still enjoy, and why I think it’s worth fighting to protect.

As I said in my last post over a week ago, Celia and I went on a ramble and as it was the anniversary of Aunt’s death, we thought we could call it Auntie Mary’s Walk. Just one problem: we’re not entirely sure where we went. Celia and I have yet to go on a ramble where we don’t get lost.

At this point I’m pretty sure we were on the right track.

Hedgehog Lane

Hedgehog Lane

Postbox and Black Cat

Postbox and Black Cat

This wasn’t the route we were following, but it ran alongside ours for a while.

Fancy a Pint?

Fancy a Pint?

In retrospect, perhaps we should have followed it, as we never did reach the pub. As the pubs we have planned to eat at in the past have invariably been closed or no longer serving food, lunch has been the point where we have deviated from our planned route and ended up somewhere we did not expect to be. This time, although Celia called the pub and confirmed they were indeed still open and sold hot meals, I announced that given our track record, I intended to take soup with me. It was this (deserved) lack of faith that prompted Celia to go to Stanfords and buy a map. Though she did bring sandwiches.

We got lost quite early on, but were rescued by a woman walking a rather lovely Golden Retriever called Bingo. Naturally I do not know the woman’s name. She set us on the right direction and off we went. Given that we passed most of the things she told us to look out for, I don’t understand how we found ourselves at the wrong end of the map.

However by that time we had been thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The fields and ditches were covered in a dusting of snow.

A Dusting of Snow

A Dusting of Snow

Continue reading

A Walk in Kent, Part Two

Nettles. Great for a hair rinse, at least according to Aunt; good as soup apparently; and nice tea; but up close and personal in the raw state, no. Nowhere near as bad as the poison ivy across the pond, which is Nature in a Very Bad Mood, but nonetheless, not to be messed with. So we walked back and forth through holes in the fence, bypassing the things, and finally emerging illegally into the next field.

Sidestepping the end of the path was a necessity rather than an option. Nature had achieved a fine and very effective barrier across the legal way.

Impossible and Impassable

Impossible and Impassable


Continue reading

Cat in Crisis

I don’t know what to do. I have left messages with rescue centres, one of them Battersea, but I think the animal I am calling about may be dead already. Or worse, seriously injured and in pain. How could it survive? I saw it from the bus as it went round the busy Elephant and Castle roundabout when I was on my way home an hour ago. A large fluffy full grown ginger, sniffing for food between the underground exit and the sweet shop.
I looked in disbelief, wondering for a few hopeful moments if it belonged to the sweet shop people. But I don’t think it did. One woman walking by, stopped for a moment and then walked on.
The Elephant is one of the busiest traffic junctions in London. Goodness knows how many buses go through there every day.
How this cat came to be out and about there alone I dread to think. Yet of course I am thinking and already blaming an imaginary heartless person who has dumped it, but maybe it has just wandered and it’s owners are out of their minds with worry.

St Paul’s West Front

This isn’t the picture i meant to post tonight. As I said earlier, I came home minus my little Olympus, and I don’t know where I lost it. I shall try two places tomorrow and hope it is in one of them. With fewer police stations about, my chances of it being handed in if I dropped it are remote.
I took this picture last week with my Lumix. It is of the West Front of St Paul’s cathedral.

West Front, St Paul's

West Front, St Paul’s

Continue reading

No Residual Trauma

I followed the pawprints and saw Not Cat standing ankledeep in the snow. As he turned his face towards me, a movement on the wall caught my eye; the fox, now jumping away into the garden beyond.

Cat didn’t like the snow; he was spooked by how noisy his footsteps were. Last year, his hearing impaired, was the first time I’d seen him look at ease in it.

Not Cat doesn’t seem to mind having crunchy footsteps. He’s been out several times. The students, from whom I adopted him, told me how they had found him crying in the snow and taken him in. When they located his owners, they were told he was no longer wanted.

I wondered if the snow might trigger some memory of being lost and alone, but there’s been no evidence of any residual trauma. The opposite if anything. This boy grows more confident by the hour. Rather grey hours today. I associate fresh snow with blue skies and crisp air, but today the sky has stayed leaden, and even misty.

I didn’t get any photos of Not Cat in the snow, but I did snap this insouciant Blackbird that he was watching covetously.

Snowy Day Blackbird