I didn’t see this sign until I was nearly home, but it struck me as most apt for my working life! Today took this grumpy Rector back to the parish boundary again, to the highest point in the parish (at least, judging by the views it’s the highest point). I didn’t want to go for a a walk and by the time I got started I definitely didn’t want to go for a walk, but I did want to be somewhere high up with fresh air, so I took the most direct route out to the ridge which forms some of the North-West parish boundary.
The boundary goes right along the top of the ridge, and at the highest point there is a clump of trees old enough to have been there when the boundaries were being walked as a matter of course a couple of centuries ago. There are a number of well rutted tracks to the ridge, and it strikes me as a well visited place, probably for a very long time indeed. From the top there is a clear view across to some of the local Iron Age hill forts, and although I’m no expert, I’d assume that this hill may have functioned similarly in some small way. The ridge feels like a real boundary – to the parish side it is gentler countryside, to the far side the hills are bigger, the Plain is bleaker, at the top the wind is sharper, and the puddles on top are frozen today, despite the sunshine.
I would have come down off the ridge and picked up the old greenway to join up with the bit of boundary have walked so far, but the light was starting to diminish slightly, I’d forgotten my hat, and last time I walked that way I got embroiled with electric fences. I walked to the edge of the escarpment, had a look at the prospective route, remembered grovelling under fences and winning up excitable cattle, and went back the way I came. Wisdom, because as I came off the ridge, it did its best to sleet a bit. Luckily its best wasn’t up to much, and I headed home for coffee, blogging, and evening meeting preparation.
I paused several times to try to get the mud off my boots. I’m not used to claggy chalk, it doesn’t normally happen to me. Claggy clay I’m familiar with, I was brought up going for walks where boots doubled in weight and feet had to be swung out past one another. Another sign of long land use perhaps?
Distance: 2 3/4 miles
Pace: slow. No, really really very slow indeed. I’ve no idea why, but I was feeling sulky as I walked out and grumpy as I walked back. If it hadn’t been for Janathon, I’d have stayed at home.
Dog count: 2, both in the far distance with their humans
Rector’s rating: 6/10 I wish I’d felt more cheerful, because it really was a nice walk!