The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The First of the Year

I walked down the stairs this morning and happily noticed that my knee didn’t hurt. Yeah! Now that’s the sort of miraculous recovery I was looking for.

The sensible thing to do seemed to be to give it another few days of rest, but at the same time it was another gloriously frosty morning that just begged to be walked in.

The compromise was a 3-mile all-but-flat route from the house over a couple of fields and through the local estate.

I’ve not walked that way since the beginning of last year, so I was interested to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t. Even though new gateposts were put in over a year ago, making me think that the broken gate over which one has perilously to climb (it’s only secured by twine at each end, and at the hinge end it’s only secured to some unsecured wire fencing) would soon be fixed. Alas no. The new gateposts are still there. You still have to climb a very wobbly gate.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We started off down a track about 100 yards away from the house, where the hoar frost was making everything look very pretty indeed:


Between the jammed-gate and the perilously-unattached-gate the track is still as overgrown as it ever was, with spiky things that try to grab you as you walk on past.


After a couple of fields and a couple of lanes to cross, we entered the Estate grounds behind 10 other people out enjoying the day.

P1010003aThat was just the tip of the iceberg; as we continued we were never out of sight of groups of other people. I’ve walked this route dozens of times and at most I’ve encountered a few dog walkers. I guess that New Year’s Day is one of those classic ‘let’s go for a local walk’ days isn’t it?

Next to the entrance the small pond was frozen over and by the number of sticks and stones that had been thrown onto the surface I would guess that it’s been that way for more than a day.

P1010004aA steepled church always strikes me as a pleasing sight; moreover in today’s near monochrome.


It’s a pity about the power lines which cause a blot on the landscape – but as I like my electricity as much as the next person I suppose I’ve limited cause for complaint. There was quite some buzzing today as we passed under pylons.

P1010010aMick calling my name caused me to look back over my shoulder whilst simultaneously fiddling with my mitten.P1010012aA while later (soon after coming close to taking the wrong path; now that would have been careless!) we were taking the Horse Chestnut lined lane that leads back to the village and from the village it was just a thoroughly unexciting walk up the road home.


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