As I type this I am sitting down with my feet up, and this is where I plan to stay until the Horde require feeding again later. So far this weekend I have covered almost 29k, and I have definitely earned the afternoon nap I’m planning just as soon as I hit the publish button on this post.
Yesterday’s walk was 18k, and thanks to a combination of Google maps, the Ordnance Survey app* and my Walking in Essex book I mostly didn’t get lost (although I did take a wrong turn somewhere near Matching Green and had to reorient myself) and made it back to my start point successfully. I followed a route around Moreton and the Matchings, a set of pretty little Essex villages which didn’t even look too bad in yesterday’s persistent drizzle. One thing you can say about Essex is that when they land on a name they make the most of it – Matchings Tye and Green; Magdalen, High and Little Laver; a swathe of Rodings and a plethora of Woodfords.
The walk took four hours, give or take a minute or two, and enabled me not only to get some distance in and try out my new Injinji socks but also to avoid all the nonsense going on on the telly yesterday. It was great – wandering down green lanes and through fields in blissful peace. In 18k I only saw two other people, and a dog adopted me for the last mile or so and kept me company. I hope he found his way home. It was a lovely route, occasionally taking in sections of the Forest Way and Stort Valley Way, tracing the Cripsey Brook for a while, passing various little country churches and chapels, listening to the birds and saying hello to horses. It would have been better if my Strava and OS tracking hadn’t failed, but never mind.
Today’s walk was almost 11k, with my friend Rachel and her one-year-old Weimaraner Loki who bounced about so much that he must have covered twice the distance. I came back with soggy feet, pawprints and half of Essex on my boots thanks to the clayey soil. We saw a moat with ducks, a lot of long grass, pretty yellow wagtails and skylarks zipping about and then took a very long detour home!
The bacon butties I made for lunch were very well-deserved!
*the OS map also got a lot of use last Monday when Tan and I went for a walk in the Surrey Hills – being able to locate ourselves with map references when following directions like ‘turn right at a metal gate’ was useful. That walk had lots of pillboxes, bluebells and excellent views as well as some unexpected alpacas.
Other things making me happy this week:
- A day with my new team and the luxury of a proper handover with my predecessor at the Quentin Blake Centre
- A full moon swim followed by marshmallows and hot chocolate
- Finishing my latest socks
- Another long weekend, but I am not walking ANYWHERE tomorrow
- A remnant fabric pack to experiment with
Next week I’ll be coming to you from sunny Majorca! It’s my last week at Young V&A, too…
And now it’s nap time…
What I’ve been reading:
Venus in Copper/The Iron Hand of Mars – Lindsey Davis
Lords and Ladies – Terry Pratchett (Audible)