a quick catch up starting with sunday 22/10 (well actually not very quck at all but if you’d met me you’d know it is quite quick for me really…)

So, last Sunday after foolishly planting onions and then falling over trying to photograph them (low blood pressure strikes again, why on earth Phoebe (Friends) enjoys these I will never understand), Tom thought it would be a good idea to head out for a walk…..  

We checked our map, printed off some pretty pictures from ordnance survey and headed out. Only by the time we got out it was late, we didn’t know this as neither of us bothered to check the time (and for some reason it didn’t occur to me our walk would be a long one!) but it was. Off we went, clever me in long sleeved top, thin jacket and raincoat (Tom insisted I’d get too hot – I pointed out I could always remove layers!), Noise in a strappy top & thin jacket, Muffin dressed similarly but bizarrely also with gloves on (why?), Boo sensibly wearing tracki bottoms, socks, thick over socks, a longsleeved vest and a thick chunky hoody, with extra hat in my pocket, and Tom, well Tom in a t-shirt and then last minute he decided he’d grab a jumper. Time to go, Boo in the MeiTai on Tom’s back and the rest of us ready for our walk.

  checking-the-map.jpg

We crossed over into the Common and I started getting excited over fungi, lots of different fungi! I snapped away with the camera in the hope I’d be able to identify them on our return – the girls started snorting with laughter and after a while calling out excitedly that they’d found more until I’d go rushing over and they’d snort louder at my gullibility (do these children not realise it is I that cooks their dinner, washes their clothes etc!).

 whats-this.jpg       one very red mushroom      more-mushrooms.jpg     out-of-focus-but-very-purple.jpg

Feel free to identify any of these for me anytime you like!!

Anyhows, our walk takes us through some interesting countryside, through wooded areas with badger sets and pheasants galore, with tracks (maybe deer?) and random rope swings, over stiles and across bridges, eventually we arrive at The Pear Tree, our destination and realise it’s already 5.30pm and it’s a little darker than it was when we set out…  Still, we can’t walk further without refreshment and Boo has only just woken up and wants to get down and stretch her legs for a bit so, in we go and have a quick drink.  

a well earned rest Ready to head back we plan our return journey. We both decide the journey back is going to get tricky going the way we came due to the rapidly diminishing light…. and the rickety stiles and wooded areas so we opt for a different route home (have I mentioned that this is our 3rd attempt to get to the pub? On 2 previous occasions we have tried and failed miserably – in part due to the poor signposting at various junctions but I think due mostly to Tom’s horrendous map reading skills.. and he a Queen’s Scout!) needless to say I’m a little nervous at the potential for getting lost on the new route home in darkness….  

The route home was fantastic, with the little bit of daylight left we stopped at some rope swings at the outskirts of the village

 is-that-safe.jpg

and then continued past the hospice – behind which we discovered donkeys and sheep! It then started to get a little darker but the route seemed straightforward so we carried on (although the alternative was to sit down and wait for morning so it’s not like we had a choice!). the rest of the walk was pretty uneventful (luckily) other than the passing by a dog who was polishing off the rest of the rabbit he’d caught…. Muffin was not overly impressed but accepted it as part of nature. The final bit of the walk was a little treaturous as after climbing the final stile we had to do the remainder of the walk on the road, the girls managed to sing through a good 50 odd green bottles before we made it home, we only had to pin ourselves to the hedge about 5 times (not a good idea to walk on the roadside in the dark dressed mainly in black….) I’ve now got the girls some snap on pulsar™ ankle bands which is better than nothing and now we’ve remembered we have hi vis jackets in the car leftover from our roadtrip to Spain in June. Although of course we hadn’t planned a night walk so maybe we’ll leave it all behind again next time….

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