Unusually for me I was out of the house before 9 this morning – I’m a shockingly slow riser, normally. I’ve done this 7 mile walk many times but it was good to be walking again after an absence of a couple of weeks. Through the woods then past the back of the prison and onto Oaks Park. Everywhere the grass was very long but fortunately I don’t suffer from hay fever. As usual I do some reading in the shade, with my usual coffee and a Kit-Kat from the excellent café.
A sign on the path invited me to find the open art studios and I came across just one with an open door. Looking inside there was no sign of the artist so I was reluctant to enter their private space which was a typical working studio with the paints and equipment as well as walls covered in paintings. I can’t believe I didn’t take a quick photo – my artist daughter would have appreciated and envied a fellow artist’s workspace. I turned around, walked in a circle and decided to go back to take that picture, but the door to the studio was now firmly closed. I should have grabbed the opportunity when I had it!
On a lovely sunny day, today’s walk took me through Nonsuch Park, into Ewell Village and then along the muddy path by the Hogsmill River. Three hours walking, with no sustenance, I was glad to get home to lunch.
What better in these miserable times than a hike in familiar countryside. It was just short of 8 miles and there was the usual coffee and KitKat of course. The sun was out for a while though walking south into the low-lying winter sun often meant looking at the ground rather than the surrounds. It was cold but not very cold. A chat with my son in Berlin is always a pleasure. It felt good to be out.
How can a café run out of Kit Kat?! So a Mars bar it had to be, though at my age it has to be torn into pieces rather than bitten into. Contrary to the cloudy weather prediction, late morning / early afternoon was gloriously sunny, enough to produce some slight redness to my fair skin.
I’ve been thinking about how best to go about picking up the odd piece of countryside litter. A picking-up device seems overkill and a nuisance to carry around on a hike. Perhaps all I need is a bag (plastic?) and maybe a rubber glove. But where do you keep the bag during the walk – hanging from the rucksack? I’d refuse to pick up those small plastic bags favoured by dog owners – quite why some go to the trouble of collecting their pet’s poo only to discard it or even hang it from a tree branch.
It’s great to see that it’s blackberry time again. Here a four images from a 5-mile local walk, the second one having been taken accidentally – I’m not sure how I managed that.
I owe an apology to a lady golfer. On witnessing her somewhat embarrassing 20-yard drive towards the very distant green, I shouldn’t have remarked “There’s plenty of room for improvement”. Inexcusable!
A day after the snow came the predicted thaw began to take effect. The crisp layer of snow had become crunchy snow or worse still mud so that a walk along the Hogsmill River was at times a quagmire. Collapsed and demolished snowmen were much in evidence in Nonsuch Park.
An early start on a sunny morning for my often walked 6 miles. Through the woods, past the prison, around or over the golf course, through the park with its many dog walkers, and then more paths on the edge of the woods.