Thursday, 3 June 2010
A Walk On The Wild Side
On Bank Holiday Monday we decided to make a picnic, go out for a walk and get some air. Particularly needed for Big Sister who has spent most of the past month or so in her room, turret-like, poring (or not) over her books and computer in the name of revision. So the plan was lunch on the Downs, a brisk walk up and down the hill and back in time for an hour or two in the garden. What's that saying about the "best laid plans..."
It felt so good to be back on top of the Downs again, to look out towards the horizon, to see big skies,
fields of rape,
green fields, knowing the sea was just a twinkle away (as were the bank holiday crowds)
We literally scrambled down the chalk paths, it was good to be walking arm in arm with my eldest daughter (I've missed her recently, having lost her to exams).
We sat amongst the hills and ate our lunch and laughed and were silly in a way that only a family can be, those silly family jokes that are too embarrassing to share with anyone else...
Fortified by lunch we decided to venture further and walk into the village.
We've done this walk a million times and could do it blindfold but that would be pointless as we would miss all the wonderful delights that nature had in store for us.
Past hedgerows of billowing cow parsley and corn cockles,
fields of horses and rabbits
A chance encounter with this fearsome creature that conjured up all sorts of Withnail and I quotes
Past pretty cottages dressed in their very best
An unexpected greeting (very unexpected) from a canine friend
And then a look at our watches reminded us that time was slipping through our fingers
On our way back, our feet not being quite so light of step, Big Sister spotted a path we hadn't used before...
And then it all went downhill (well only in a figurative sense, because it seemed very much uphill from that point).
All seemed well for a while, we crossed fields of buttercups and daisies
And more fields and more...
As the temperature rose and the blisters increased, Little Sister decided to gather dock leaves and stuff them in her pockets as our stings grew and the nettles were everywhere. The laughter began to wane and I heard whimpers ahead of me "This is the worst day of my life... why did we listen to C?... it's all her fault... I hope we've got enough dock leaves, I know we're going to need them...I've got a tummy ache, my feet hurt".
At this point we would have used semaphore to get the attention of this man, but our arms were to weary to be waved.
We literally stumbled into this gothic pile, and felt like we had walked onto the set of "Atonement". But alas no sign of Mr McAvoy.
No cars could we hear, no roads could we see, nothing except those darned stinging nettles...
Finally, finally we found a stile that led us to a path we recognised.
I mustered enough energy to stride on ahead of everyone as I seemed unable to speak AND walk and Little Sister had developed the nasty habit of calling my name incessantly for the last fifteen minutes which she found very very amusing.
Five hours later, can I say that never, ever has our own front door looked so sweet...