Unlike most of my friends, I do not feel impelled to get out into the fresh air every day. It needs the promise of a pretty garden or some such, or really nice weather, (or need for essential purchases) to get me further than my garden. Possibly it’s because from my front window I have a big sky, at times with hundreds of starlings streaming past, and the Polden Hills in the middle distance, to feast my eyes on. Possibly.
But last Sunday, the conditions were almost fulfilled. It was chilly but bright. And I told myself I ‘ought’ to get out, at least for a short walk, so I did. A few weeks ago a friend had shown me a footpath near my house, which in principle I knew existed but access to which I had never sought out, and I decided to take it, this time with camera.
At the end of my road. My goodness. Bristol Water are going at it! This is a good half mile from the works I had seen the other day, and in the other direction from my house. They’ve been working around here for months.
I’m always sad walking up this lane. It’s exactly two years since my lovely little cat, Luciole aka Lulu, was found on its verge, the victim no doubt of a speeding motorist.
Permit me a rant. I think I just about understand, though I don’t necessarily sympathise with them, why house owners don’t like cars turning in the wide space aligned with the pavement outside their houses. But one at the entrance to a field?!
I’m now up on a very busy road, which on weekdays is crammed with large speeding lorries and other vehicles. There is a local campaign to get this downgraded from being an approved freight route. Just a few yards behind me they go dangerously near actual house walls. I now have the choice of taking my life in my hands – cars come speeding round that corner, even though it’s a 20 mph zone, crossing the road to a wider pavement, and then having to cross back a couple of hundred yards further on, or staying on this side and getting squashed by a passing lorry. It’s Sunday, so I’ll take my chance and stay on this side.
That choice means I notice this intriguing gateway on the other side. I’ve driven along this stretch of road hundreds of times, but never once walked it.
Hieroglyphs on a telephone post
This is why I considered crossing the road. I think I need to send this photo to the authorities to get it cleaned up. It’s only 18 inches (45 cm) wide at the best of times .
And here is the entrance to the footpath I’ve never tried. In all those hundreds of times driving along this road, I’d never noticed it tucked away.
And once through, this:
Or this, sweeping though 270 degrees:
Aaah. (Baah?) But you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.
Walking down the hill, it’s easy to avoid the boggy bit, nicely delineated by sedge.
For this oak, it’s very definitely still winter.
From the bottom of the field, looking back…
… and forward. Now there’s meant to be a stile somewhere here…
… and here it is, tucked around the corner.
The next one looks most unwelcoming.
But fortunately there is an alternative.
The next one is almost pristine.
Here’s why. I do like it when stiles have a good upright post to hold on to.
And the next stile is a double one, over a ditch.
The trodden (and very muddy) track ahead matches the right of way marked on the map.
And I come out onto a familiar road. Theoretically I should be home shortly.
But I am delayed.
‘Oh, give it a rest kids!’
After ten minutes I reluctantly move on. I was getting a little chilled. I look back over my left shoulder.
And I look over towards my right.
And shortly pass my local park where I see humanlets gambolling. Back to school the next day after three months, save a false one-day start in January.