It's been such a long a while since we walked together, so if you fancy coming out this afternoon, you'll be most welcome!
I'll take you to my usual haunts (you may have walked with me before). Just lately I've been trying to get into the habit of doing a brisk three or four miles every other day, fitting it in around working and daylight (and rain). Weirdly I keep bumping into the same people, no matter what time I set out; perhaps they just walk around all day? One thing I've noticed too, is that those lovely older ladies I often see, who manage to keep slender and bright-eyed even into their 70s and 80s, always wear lipstick. Somehow it gives them a look of youthful joie de vivre. I rarely go out without mine either, so excuse me while I just apply it...
Anyway, we'll go up to the long familiar path lined with lime trees which I know is three quarters of a mile long so it's good way to measure distance - and if you've come here with me before, you'll know I love the trees with their weird angular shapes created by previous pollarding and huge spheres of mistletoe hanging from the branches like Christmas tree baubles.
We'll go and see the cattle. They're English Longhorns, different from the Texas ones, with horns that curve round to sort of frame their gentle faces, and known for being a friendly breed.
The sky briefly turns a weird shade of yellow, with big grey galleon clouds, but I'm looking at the cow!
One walks across the field barely able to lift its legs out of the heavy, cloying mud. At least we can tentatively tread the grassy verges to avoid the worst of the puddles.
I want to show you the old wooden store (not exactly a shed, but more than just a crate - so I'm not sure what to call it) where they keep the incendiary devices. It always makes me smile to see the hand-painted sign which reads 'DANGER! EXPLOSIVES!' on an innocuous looking route that meanders between wide, tranquil fields and copses - but it's here they keep stuff for popular 'Wartime Re-enactment' days. At least that's what I've always thought.
I haven't been out to this bit since the Summer - but today it doesn't look the same, the words have worn off the sign, the structure is collapsing. It could be a den. Nice smell of woodsmoke too.
A bit too muddy to continue (I'm not wearing the right boots) so let's head back towards the road, but we'll take a back route, past the allotments. Down past the free-range chickens in their huge pen, who all come running up to the fence with their stumpy wings flapping when I stop to say hello.
Some dead sunflower heads catch my eye - I just like the way they look.
Plus I want to show you the lovely old signage that's been left on one of the walls round this way. Gorgeous lettering.
Funnily enough this is the first time I've noticed how well it has weathered compared with these adjacent, far more recent signs.
And one more sign (I couldn't help wondering if the home-owner was a Loudon Wainwright III fan!)
Now coming into view is one of our famed 'crinkle-crankle' walls on the left, designed to protect fruit trees growing in its sheltered curves. It's struck me just now that this view has probably remained pretty much unchanged in the last few hundred years.
Okay, we can join up with the main street now and stop off at the Co-op, I need to buy a bag of birdfood and some mushrooms.
Then up the hill and back to home, just in time before the rain.
As someone who doesn't have the time to enjoy a good walk as I once did, I appreciate the vicarious pleasures offered by these posts. My dad would appreciate the cattle too (being a former farmer who had to sell his own cows a few years back because he got too old to keep running around after them).ReplyDelete
Ah I'm glad you could enjoy it vicariously at least. Shame your dad had to sell his cows but I think I can understand how tiring it must be running around after them... especially when there's this much mud!Delete
Your neighborhood looks far more interesting than mine, and I would gladly swap some of my neighbors for some cattle.ReplyDelete
I think yours would be very interesting to us here though, Brian - if you ever fancy posting some pics? The cattle are lovely, but hopefully your neighbours smell a bit better....Delete
Good photos C. I especially like the sunflowers, collapsed shed and dirty roadsigns. Don't what this says about me.ReplyDelete
Yep, I get that too. Something about decay - it's so attractive in its own way.Delete
What a lovely set of pictures - Hope my comment about the exercise ratio a couple of weeks back spurred on this walking habit but if so you're doing better than I am because I've been struck down with this lurgy.ReplyDelete
Like SA I esp. like the sunflowers pic (they really do become a bizarre melted mass by this time of year), plus the signage - What did Clement Theobald & Sons do back in the day (sounds like a Dickens' character).
What a lovely neck of the woods you live in with the quaint villages/walls/cows. Not that dissimilar to mine so I may take your lead and do a similar post sometime soon in order to compare notes (if you don't mind).
Oh and the lipstick is a must - I never go out now without it (or my woolly hat) for fear of fading into the landscape. I'm sure I get some disapproving looks from some of the really outdoorsy ladies but hey each to their own.
Thank you - and yes your note about exercise did indeed help to encourage me - it was as if you articulated something that a little voice in my head had been saying, and I just needed that extra push. I walked for another hour today too so getting lots of fresh air at the moment. When I'm working to tight deadlines I end up hardly moving from my chair for days on end, but I'm keeping on top of work right now so trying to make the most of opportunity. long may it continue.Delete
I'd love to see photos of your neck of the woods - somewhere I've never visited, not even anywhere near it (and of course I wouldn't mind, it's lovely if we can all inspire each other, plus I'm sure there's nothing original about this anyway!)
Lovely to know you're with me on the lipstick front too!
PS Clement Theobald & Sons were builders (in Dickensian times I believe!) and still functioning there now under a slightly different name.
Thanks for the info re Clement Theobald - looked as if it might have been a builder's yard of sorts. How is it that Dickensian names like these die out - Clement I get but are there still be lots of Theobalds? Interesting stuff.Delete
I always enjoy these posts C and this is no exception. It also serves to remind me that it's been an age since I took my own camera out for a similar jaunt.ReplyDelete
Thanks TS - look forward to seeing more from your walks as well; I always enjoy your pics.Delete
Do you know ( http://www.walkingenglishman.com/index.html ) ? A free site that lists walks in the uk, including images. If you go on holiday it's useful for locating the scenic paths. But I can understand your enjoyment of the local, less travelled walks. It is relaxing going on familiar routes.ReplyDelete
Thanks Chris, don't know that site, it looks interesting with some great photos. I agree, have walked a few scenic paths in unfamiliar areas on holidays - love coastal paths especially (sadly no sea here for miles though!)Delete
I dropped crinkle crackle into conversation the other day and everyone thought I was speaking Klingon.ReplyDelete
Does your walk not pull in any hostelries?
I like the idea of dropping crinkle crankle into conversation - perhaps quite randomly - might have to make that a new mission!Delete
Plenty of hostelries round here but I'm more a cuppa tea kinda gal!