I’m going to let photos do most of the work tonight. I had my first proper, boots on, train to the start point, walk for months today. If we are locked down again it may be my last for a while too. At the last minute my friend Nicola decided to join me and we met yup at Waterloo Station. The walk is the the one Celia and I did at Easter 2019, and it was wonderful to do it in a different season. We stopped at the Watts Gallery for lunch, checked out the shop, spent some precious moments at the Chapel and revelled in the views of the countryside, the boot against the path, the blackberries in the hedgerows and the sweet chestnuts bursting from their spiny shells.Continue reading
I have so many posts half composed in my head, but unwritten and unposted: stray cats, blogging v WhatsApp, Brexit (again), amazing books, homelessness, climate crisis, MasterB. You get the picture. Maybe in time. But tonight, as we come to the end of Easter weekend, and the sun is shining, the blossom is still blossoming, the air has a gentle, mellow air, quite at odds with the political climate, I want to write about yesterday’s walk in Surrey.
I was born in Surrey and grew up there. I took its hills, its green fields, its bluebell woods for granted. You still get to enjoy these things in Surrey when your parents aren’t stockbrokers.Continue reading
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.
This wasn’t the route we were following, but it ran alongside ours for a while.
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.
I was so pleased to get out and about walking last Saturday as that it was one of the things I had been looking forward to doing with Sue when she visited in August. It didn’t happen for reasons I hadn’t anticipated, and the non walk nagged and snagged at my thoughts. You know how it is when you have really been looking forward to doing something? The way in your mind you can feel the boots on your feet, see the greenery around you, smell the air, touch the bricks on the chapel you planned to visit, enjoy your companion’s enjoyment?
So not walking left a gap that felt like an unfulfilled promise.
Saturday’s walk was in Kent and with Sue, we had planned to walk in Surrey, taking in Compton with its lovely Watts’ Chapel. Continue reading
New Year’s Eve isn’t my favourite day. I have celebrated over the years with parties, dinners, drinks and fireworks, and for the most part have not really enjoyed them, though the dinners with a few good friends would rank highest. Increasingly, I am reluctant to stay up until midnight and then start the journey back home.
My friends have become inured to this. So this year, I decided I would celebrate New Year’s Eve by joining a walk, and New Year, by inviting friends to dinner, though not tomorrow.
So tonight finds me home. I have a glass of red wine close to hand, I have just eaten a gorgeous meal, and already my thoughts are turning to bed.
It was a rural rather than a remote walk. I rather liked these pigs.