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...


bellaboo said...

Oh dear! I hope your stingy legs are better now.I must say we've been on walks like that where you follow the route,as in the book, only to lose your way,and what started off as a pleasant Sunday stroll,ends up a 10 mile hike!

Bellaboo :0)

French Knots said...

Goodness, what a trek! At least it started out well with some lovely views and it didn't rain on you!
Your front door looks lovely with the beautiful wisteria.x

Cowboys and Custard said...

Did you go on a walk by mistake in true Withnail style? Some of our mistakes have been the best of times..

I could happily dive into that field of buttercups.. worth all the blisters.

Dottie x

MrsP said...

Can you help us we seem to have come on holiday by mistake! At least it is a day you will remember and you saw some lovely places.
Your wisteria looks heavenly- I hope there wasn't a Camden Carrot waiting inside for you

Hannah Stoneham said...

Lovely pictures. I love the sight of Rape fields, but sadly they give me dreadful heyfever!

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Oh no, it all started so nicely :-) Glad you got home before you had to start camping.

creative-by-nature said...

I am so envious of the wiseria above your lovely coloured door! I am about to pull out mine because after ten years it has never bloomed and is taking over our deck. I think it is not the right sort for our very cold Canadian winters. But looking at your gorgeous photo reminded me of the vision I had for it all that long time ago. Gardening does take patience!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

This is why I have turned down the chance to go off on an adventure day out on the North Sea coast later this month . My sense of direction is minimal and I'm given to wingeing when out of my comfort zone !
Though I have to say the South coast all looks very pretty and not at all frightening . It must be your photos .

Anonymous said...

lovely, lovely photos! :)

Emma Herian said...

Remind me not to go on that route with you next time! x

Louise said...

We were up on the South Downs on Bank Holiday Monday too. It was a bit blustery, and sultry! Can you believe that I suggested we take a compass along with us. Guess you could do with one too! So glad you eventually made it home. That's a very pretty front door. I know just what it feels like to be so dead on your feet! x

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

As you have probably guessed from some of my posts, I love walking and exploring. Your walk is delightful, just the kind that I like. The scenery on your photos is stunning. That Gothic house does look as if it could be right out of Atonement!
It's a wonderful way to spend quality time with your family.

Take care
Isabelle x

Garden Girl said...

ahh, but you can now add this story to the list of other embarrassing family stories!
I'm not surprised you were pleased to get home, your front door and wisteria look beautiful!x

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bristowmom said...

I'm new to your blog. Your front door is absolutely lovely!