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]

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Much Mud

It was a close call today. The intention was to take ourselves out for a bit of exercise, but with the wind blowing and unexpected rain falling, the temptation was instead to sit in front of the fire.

The thought of how much chocolate I’ve consumed in recent weeks was enough to make me stick with the exercise plan and out we set onto the local fields.

Mud was immediately the theme that stayed with us. Even where the ground was still frozen, the top half an inch had thawed and that made the going slippery and much harder than it would have been a couple of days ago.

Within the first mile we were waylaid twice. Firstly the horses wanted our company and so blocked our way every time we tried to get past them. The frisky young cows a couple of fields later just wanted to run at us and around us, kicking up their hoofs as they went. A year ago I would have squealed, cowered behind Mick and generally had kittens in both scenarios, but thanks to all of last year’s encounters with killer animals, I’m now a little more relaxed around such beasts (although I’ll still run scared from big cows giving chase).

We saw the dozen or so cars parked in a field by a normally very quiet lane before we saw any people and immediately started guessing what the gathering was about. Metal detecting turned out to be the answer. A couple of dozen people all wandering around a field dragging a square of polythene on a piece of string behind them and waving the detectors in front of them. We didn’t see much digging going on.

We ‘oohed’ to an unnecessary degree every time we spotted something that had changed since our last round of this route. Quite sad really (verging on exceedingly sad) as all of those changes were entirely mundane, like new stiles and kissing gates and new barriers separating the river from the canal.

More young cows were encountered around the Potter’s Meadow area, but they were less interested in our presence – probably because it’s a more popular area with dog walkers.

It was as we left the canal after a short distance along it that I noticed that my legs were feeling verily exercised. Surprisingly so for an almost flat walk that hadn’t been very long. Then I realised that along with Mick setting a punishing pace, we hadn’t paused for even a micro-break at any point. We still didn’t slow down or pause, as we took a green lane back to the village and then took a slightly circuitous route through its streets to get back home.

We arrived back home within 3 hours of leaving, having covered 9.5 miles under grey skies. Happily it didn’t rain whilst we were out, as on the homeward leg I realised that my hood wasn’t attached to my jacket. Given the weather forecast for the next week I must locate and re-attach it.



  1. Sound an excellent thrash! I need your motivation. Keep up the walking as you do inspire.

  2. Motivation hasn't been too difficult with two weeks of crisp, dry weather and an absence of mud. It will be interesting to see whether I can maintain that motivation given this week's forecast.

    I've already opted for the fireside today; when it's windy enough to be moving things around the garden, and raining with it, it doesn't seem like good fun weather for a walk!

  3. And despite the intial reluctance I bet you really enjoyed it all