Category Archives: A trundle with me

Thank goodness it’s September……

Before todays blog…..you might not have seen yesterdays first blog of September. WordPress are looking into why email notifications didn’t go out – it was probably something I did 🙈….But here’s the link in the hope you get todays…it includes the first showing of the cover of my new book, out in January 😊

I’ve never been a fan of August. Even as a child, I longed for September to arrive when we’d be back at school….Those long hot days of summer used to drag along for me. I’m still the same now. 

Since dementia invaded my space, August takes on an even more confusing role. The routine gone of seeing children walking passed my house in a morning to school replaced by an emptiness. For many it’s January that’s the ‘blues’ month….I like January, it’s my birthday 🤪 and the chaos of Christmas is over and normal routine resumes again….so August is my ‘blues’ month…

I’d woken one Sunday to grey murky clouds. We’d had rain overnight and the day before. August had obviously forgotten it fell in summer…..

I decided I wouldn’t let the murk keep me inside, but it took until lunchtime to convince my legs. I headed for Folley lake, a nice long circular walk. Heading to the pond first, mainly to see if anyone was about, but it was as quiet as the weather – everyone in for lunch maybe…. Even the pond was still, the water calm

Up through the houses. A sunflower trying hard to be bright and cheerful after having been lashed by the rain

The playing fields deserted as was the back lane…

Through the gallops and onto the lane heading for the lake, Halfpenny cottage now in the distance

As I turned right and looked back, tiny pockets of blue had pushed their way through the grey clouds

Unlucky farmers had cut the hay but would now have leave it to sit for a while to dry before the baler would be any use on the field

One field after another of the large Risby estate came and went. The Christmas sprout fields were one field grateful for the overnight rain

It wasn’t that August was a wet month, it was just a dull grey month so some crops would have been happy with the overnight rain… This tiny, much maligned vegetable starting to fill out. A marmite vegetable – you either love ‘em or hate ‘em and I love ‘em….

And I find the plant itself so beautiful, so perfect, like a giant sprout itself opening out…

Almost at Folley Lake now. There’s usually lots of cars parked up at the side of the road on a Sunday, but the weather had obviously put people off. A solitary car instead, looking like it belonged to the two metal detector men who were in the field – hunting for treasure or a lost ring? Who knows…

I knew the fishermen wouldn’t let me down. Sat by the lake in all weathers, waiting for that whopper of a catch

Some with tents to sneak in if the weather turns wet, others with large umbrellas to shelter under…it would usually be to hide from the sun and sit in the shade, but not this August…

One last photo of the Folley itself, mirrored in the still water, before I head back to the road

The sheep had moved fields from last time but I could see them ahead. But before them a flurry of birds caught my eye, chasing each other across the sky before landing on the tree top ahead of me.

I thought they were sparrows at the time, but they didn’t fly like sparrows and their tails were swallow like, but certainly not swallows either 

Whatever they were it was nice to see them…

As I turned off the road and into the field the sheep came into view snoozing on the grass

The long lane ahead of me would lead back to the village; the clouds still grey, the sun very absent

The odd poppy at the edge of the field bringing some colourful cheer and making me smile as they’re my favourite wild flower

The walk had levelled my spirits. Nature and the great outdoors always lifting me even on a grey day like today. But then… for some reason, for which I was thankful for, I looked behind me, into the corner of the field, just alongside Halfpenny cottage……and there they were. The sunshine I’d been waiting for. To the sunshine in the sky, but they filled my heart with sunshine…two beautiful deer……

I think mum and child….suddenly both look up and stare straight at me

Aware I was watching them but comfortable I would do them not harm, they carried on nibbling on the crops and just chilling…..

I stood stock still, mesmerised by their beauty. Grateful they’d come into the open to allow me to share their day. A couple approached, wondering what I was staring at. 

What’s so interesting? Is it a hare?

…..asked the man. 

Two beautiful deer” I replied, still looking through my camera lens…

They didn’t seem impressed and walked on…..and I wanted to shout at them, to stop and look….but then realised they weren’t as lucky as me….they didn’t have the power of the lens to look up close upon them….see their eyes, their watchful calmness….

The deer sensed the presence of other humans and I watched them disappear into the safety of the crops…….it was as if they’d never been there, but I knew different. I had the evidence

And the last mile of my walk was filled with sunshine…..not in the sky, but in my heart at what I’d just seen. Nature can bring sunshine into our lives on even the dullest August day…..if we take the time to look….

My final full day in paradise….

Last Thursday was my final full day and I decided to make it a bus trundling day…..I’d looked through the bus timetable and found a bus from Penrith that would take me to Pooley Bridge. I’d passed through it on the Penrith to Windermere bus but never stopped there and wanted to see Ullswater lake, the second largest lake in England according to the guide books and where the old fashion steam boats were. However Mr Google tells me it’s the 4th biggest 🤪……anyway it’s big – It’s a ribbon shaped lake, 7.5 miles long and 3-4 miles wide…….. it’s always looked inviting when I’ve passed through

But first I had to get to Penrith, which was easy enough as it’s the same bus I take to the station and always leaves at 20 past.

I got to the station in plenty of time only to find no-one waiting for the Penrith bus which was really unusual. I stood for a while, then glanced at the times on the lampost only to find to my horror that this one left at 08.55😳 it took me a while of staring to realise I’d missed it🙄

I sat for a while on the bench to squash my disappointment, my head feeling empty and lost at a solution but then I saw the Windemere bus arrive and thought maybe I could do the trip the other way round.  afterall I’d never done this one before so the only thing to spoil were my original plans. I decided to get on the bus and work it out from there.

As i settled into my front upstairs seat i took the timetable out for Pooley Bridge and instead of starting at Penrith, started at the other end, Windemere. It all seemed to slot into place even though it would all happen much later and hopefully before the rain arrived. 

Although I’d checked the timetable for Pooley, it never occurred to me to check the one to Penrith as it always left at 20 past……accept the one at 08.55 🙈

Anyway, the bus ride is always lovely with amazing scenery to while away the time

 As we reached Grasmere, home of Wordsworth’s Daffodil Garden, I saw the open top bus which was also going to Windermere. Hopped off mine and went upstairs on that one. It was breezy but mild. There was a gorgeous spaniel sat across from me loving the wind in his fur

We passed by Rydal water – always snap the single tree on the little island close to the bank

Derwentwater is low at the mo and so was this one

Into busy Ambleside and pass by the smallest house – one up one down…

Then on towards Windemere – the largest lake in England,  with the start of the lakearound Ambleside..

As we reached Windemere station, I had an hour to spare before my next bus, so decided to stay on the open top down to Bowness. Here I got off and went to my favourite deli and ordered my baguette for supper….there was a long queue so by the time I came out it was time to head back to the bus stop, passing by a very shiny Austin Healey, which I always thinks has a lovely big smile…..

Back to the bus station and within minute the Pooley bus arrived. I asked the driver if he could tell me when we’re there as I’d never gone this way before. His look said:

I’m fed up of tourists”

I smiled, and asked ‘or will it be obvious?” and all he said….

We’ll go over a big bridge and they’ll be lots of people, then you’re there” 

He wasn’t grumpy just on a downer day with tourists……so instead of relying on him, I just followed the bus time table mentally ticking off the stops.

Troutbeck followed by the baron and beautiful Kirkstone Pass that only comes to life as you reach the only Inn for miles. Then a few miles down the road, Ullswater Lake came into view at Patterdale, where it starts, followed by Glenridding, where I almost got off as it looked very friendly, then Park Brow where I saw a sign for waterfalls and almost got off again. My brain and body just don’t work quick enough and by the time I’ve thought of it the bus has started again 🙄

Finally we reached Pooley bridge. Yes, we did go over a bridge, a very new one as I found out later. In fact it only open last year….

I got off and immediately felt lost and wanted to go back to Keswick, but the next bus to Penrith wasn’t for an hour so I had to mooch around. I suppose it was because of its unfamiliarity. I didn’t feel safe tootling down inviting lanes as I do in Keswick. So I just kept to the Main Street, first crossing the new bridge to look at the river which runs into the lake

We’d passed the Steamer launch on the bus, so I carried on round the corner and came to a viewing point

Then the steamer launch. It wasn’t a very friendly place, the signs saying, you have to book online and before 9am of the day you want to have a ride. No turning up if the fancy takes you, no smiley man at the desk. Felt very cold, so I just left.

A couple more photos later….

……And I was back where I started. There was still 20 minutes for the bus, so I got myself an ice cream and sat on the wall watching the world go by. It’s probably a lovely favourite place for many, just as Keswick is for me, but I just wanted to get back to my paradise……I also remembered I don’t like ‘big’ and Ullswater is big, just like Windemere. I prefer the coziness of Derwentwater. Just as I’ve never yearned to climb big mountains; Cat Bells, Walla Crag being perfect for me. My youngest daughter, Gemma, always likes ‘small’, miniature items and I’m the same.

As I’m looking through my days photos as I’m writing this blog, the ones at Pooley Bridge, bring no emotion, yet as soon as I get to the Keswick ones, my smile returns…..

A couple of hours later and 2 bus rides, I was finally ‘home’. It instantly felt better, wrapping me in a large welcoming hug. After dropping my supper off in my room, I knew if I sat down I’d be in for the ramainder of the day. Instead I went straight out for my last visit to Friars Crag.

The bench was empty and waiting for me

This is where I belong I thought, as I sat and simply stared

I could see the rain clouds rolling in across Borrowdale in the distance. Cat Bells would be there for me next month when I’m here

The familiar, that’s what I have to have now, the familiar……it had been a glorious week, but as I got back to my room, it was as though the weather knew I was leaving; spots of rain splattering my window and the view gently being rubbed out by the approaching clouds…as if the weather was weeping at my departure…or was that me…..

A wonderful few days in paradise. Wonder which fell I will climb next time….?

Dementia some how convinced me I couldn’t….….

I said in yesterdays blog how Covid has done me a favour by allowing me time to walk 5-10 miles a day, therefore building up my fitness. I also mentioned the seed of an idea of walking up Walls Cragg once more, something I thought I would never do again. But after the effort of having to climb Cat Bells for my paraglide, the seed was beginning to flourish and the possibility a reality. The one thing I had to have was the same map as me and Sylvia used to use when we climbed.

 It was years old so I wasn’t sure I would find it. I scoured the shops the day before. All I could find at first was updated versions which took you the other way round and it didn’t make sense to me. I needed the bright cheerful yellow one that told me to look out for landmarks….I’d almost given up when I went into a newsagents and there they were. The Original pack of 5 and the one I wanted tucked nicely inside.

Now I had no excuse not to try 🤩

The morning arrived after weird dreams of decorating Appletrees for Christmas 😳🤣. I never sleep well while I’m away; different bed, different sounds all contributing to me waking every few minutes, or that’s what it feels like 🙄 But finally pulling my curtains back made up for it and filled me with enthusiasm for the day

Map in hand I set off straight after breakfast. The town is relatively quiet at this time as I started at Moot Hall, just as the instructions said and made my way up towards the church and the first right hand turn. It wasn’t long before I became disorientated; these once familiar roads now reducing my sense of direction to confusion. But as I looked across the field I could see the familiar snaking path of Cat Bells in the distance giving me a sense of comfort

Already I needed help by the map as I reached two forks in the path. It told me to head for the gate that would lead into the wood, passing by the familiar farm hut where an image appeared of me and Sylvia sat having an ice cream outside.

The route becoming familiar with each word I read on the bright yellow map. 

With the stream on the left hand side, follow the stony path up to the landmark transmitter”

The reason I like this map is it tells me the sounds and sights to look out for – landmarks I can identify and follow. The sound of water in my left ear as I climbed the ever increasingly steep slope through the wood

The stream wasn’t visible but clearly audible, every now and then a clearing revealing the stream below, twisting and winding down the hill. I don’t remember such sheer drops but probably the ground has eroded, so extra care had to be taken and my eyes firmly on my boots in some areas.

The path got steeper, strategic gaps allowing me to see Derwentwater below and also the opportunity to catch my breathe.

Many would say, what’s the big deal? It’s an easy walk and I used to think that but hopefully not say it 🤔 I hadn’t realised how unfit I was before Covid. I thought I couldn’t do certain things for other reasons. I’d never experienced being unfit in my life before so I didn’t know what it felt like. I didn’t associate not being able to do certain things, like climb Walls Crag, with being unfit. Dementia had convinced me I couldn’t or I shouldn’t and wasn’t capable anymore. I might become disoriented or get lost it told me. But now I’ve got the upper edge since lockdown made me fitter. Before I’d try, fail and not bother trying which ended up with me not being fit; a vicious circle until Covid came along.

I can often hear voices, blowing across the fells in the wind. I’m never sure if they’re real or not but they’re not frightening. It’s a comfort to know there maybe people nearby. All I’d seen so far are fell runners storming down the rocky paths. 

My own sense of direction used to take me along the right path automatically but as I look around I’m lost again, no sense of where I am or which direction to head. I felt a bit lost on the map when suddenly I saw some people in the distance and decided to follow them.

 They soon went out of sight, much quicker than me, but a man was coming up behind me, so I decided to let him pass and follow him. And so it went on until I found my place on the map again.

This continual incline was becoming to tell on my legs and my breathing was getting harder. I had to resort to counting 50 steps, then taking a rest allowing my breathe to slow down once more.

I found the swing gate identified on the map and turned in. I hadn’t reached the summit yet but the views were spectacular 

The steeper it got, my counting reduced to 20 steps, then taking a break. Rocky footpaths banked by swathes of purple heather. Once again the path seemed narrower and the edge to my right revealing the sheer drop beneath. Over one hump, thinking I was there only to find another steep climb ahead 😳….

The continual uphill walk had now reduced me to a snails pace, but I was sure it wasn’t far to go now. I could see and hear people on the summit ahead of me

As I began to climb the last few rugged rocks, now on all fours, my stick hanging from my wrist and clattering at my side, I suddenly lost my footing. A sharp sting to my cheek and arm as I clutched my camera with my left hand. I’ve fallen into the jagged rocks. My arm taking the brunt of the fall, my face following behind as I tried to protect my camera 🙄🤣🤪. Luckily my camera was fine 🥵….which is more than could be said for my face and arm 🙄

My heart was racing and I stopped a moment for it to regain its composure – shaken and very much stirred.. Out of the silence came more voices, this time from people at the top. Just a few more steps and I was there. Pain forgotten, I climbed up the last few steps. I’d done it 🤩 As I stood looking at the view, my heart calmed immediately. I found the rock I always sit on and studied the view

And what a view…..

A kind man took a photo of me to celebrate the moment. He was with his wife and children and had just asked a man before me to do the same.

As I looked at the instructions I began to feel confused as they didn’t make sense. They spoke of taking me back to the car park below, but I wanted to go to Ashness Bridge. I realised the map was only to Walla Crag. Whether me and Sylvia had simply known the way before, I’m not sure. I could see the family going down the hill and decided to follow them in the hope of not losing them

The path, in fact was clearly marked in the main and I could see roughly where I was heading so I felt confident enough to pass them by as they pointed out Cat Bells to the children

The views continue to be wonderful. 

Eventually I could hear the water running under  Ashness Bridge. This idyllic little bridge with so many memories

I crossed the narrow road and stood on the bridge watching the water tumbling down the rocks

Then headed down underneath to watch it coming through the opening

Heading down the steep hill down to the main road, I felt the sweat dripping down my face. It was at this point an imagine popped into my head of a present Pip had bought me – a roll up water bottle, that I said I would bring with me to make sure I drank on long walks. Very good idea, but only if you remember to pack it 🙄….sorry Pip 🙈

As I reached the main road, crossed  and went down the steps towards the lake, I suddenly felt disorientated again. I needed to go the wrong way round the lake. I always go the other way when I’m walking round it and now it felt all wrong and unfamiliar

I reasoned with myself that if I kept the lake on my left I’d get there eventually. The distraction of seeing mummy duck and her two ducklings took my mind off the disorientation. Not what I was expecting to see 😂

I just couldn’t get my sense of where I was. Through woods with enormous ancient trees reaching for the sky….

…..I needed to find a landmark and within 20 minutes or so, there it was, Milenium stone and further round, through the trees, Millennium bench

Now I relaxed as I knew where I was. About 45 -60 minutes before I’d be back in my room having a well earned cuppa tea…..

Today I learnt that dementia can play tricks with your confidence. It truly convinced me I could no longer climb my favourite fells and by doing so convinced me ‘I couldn’t’. It also convinced me I could no longer walk into town or to Folley lake at home. But luckily Covid came along, gave me time to improve my fitness and now I CAN do all 3……….Wendy 1 Dementia 0 🙌

Tuesday………

I woke to find a beautiful sky staring back at me through the window, as if it had never gone to bed…..

After a while I heard Catherine asking Alexa to play the morning radio so knew breakfast time wasn’t far away…I always opt for the early sitting of breakfast, not sure why, just seems to make the most of the day…Catherine must have some real stories to tell about her guests. I’m always fascinated to see and meet my fellow travellers. Sometimes you click and start talking and other times breakfast time is my own and today was the latter. People chatting to each other and in their own worlds but I can’t help wondering where their worlds are…..

I wasn’t expecting such fine weather as my app a few days ago said it would be cloudy and rainy, so this threw me a little bonus…..today it said possible rain in the afternoon, so I decided to make the most of the morning and trundle round the lake….

You may remember that last year, or was it the year before 🤔….one of my fundraisers was walking round Derwentwater as it felt a real challenge that I didn’t know if I could complete. However, I’ve since realised that Covid lockdown has thrown me a lifeline. Because I’ve been walking between 5 and 10 miles every day, I’ve become much fitter 🤩, meaning the once challenge has become routine when I’m here. I’m not saying its easy as the last mile and a half is a killer, but I’m always of the mindset that I CAN do it instead of thinking it’s too far.

So, all fuelled up after one of Catherines yummy breakfasts and I was out of the door as the second sitting was sitting down to theirs. This way I thought I’d start out in relatively quiet paths as the crowds would begin later.

I also decided to record my thoughts as I trundled along on my phone to see if that worked. So let’s see…..

As I walked passed the lake the boats were being untied from their nightly shackles ready for the tourists to hire

The water was like a millpond, so still so silent, beautiful and calm. As I reached Friars Cragg I smiled as I realised I had this small beauty all to myself. The bench laying empty and waiting for me.

I couldn’t resist sitting for a while, the only company, a few geese swimming by heading for who knows where

Soon I was joined by a couple with their dog. We chatted about how beautiful the morning was. Then the woman said:

It’s suppose to break by the weekend, torrential storms on the way”

My response…?

All the more reason why we should make the most of today”……and I left that with that thought as they settled down on the bench. I wonder why people always focus on the future, what’s to come, especially when today is such a glorious day?

I even had the bay round the corner to myself, not even any morning dog walkers allowing their canine friend to splash in the water…

A few joggers were all that I saw…..apart from 2 geese squawking to each other as they flew over my head towards Cat Bells

Following the path round in silence I came to the secluded bay I always visit. Not a soul around 

Even Milenium bench was laying empty as I rounded its corner. I must be so much earlier than usual 

Geese about to land in the distance

I was just thinking how there seems to be more seagulls, more rooks and crows than in previous years; how there used to be an abundance of Robins. When all of a sudden a Robin landed on the ground in front of me 😳, as if to prove a point that they were still here

I stayed and snapped until it disappeared out of sight…..

The lake seems quite low, or maybe it’s just the time of year. Even the part where you have to cross on stepping stones was totally free of water. The once useful stones laying idle on the parched gravel.

It was at this point I discovered that recording my thoughts is very helpful, but only if I remember to record as suddenly, only a third of the way around the lake, the recording stops 😂 🙈…..so now it will have to be my photos that help me write.

As I went round another corner, more evidence how low the lake was, the lake bed, on view

Passed the Lodore and on towards the bridge that takes you over the water.

The water beneath providing a mirror image of the surroundings in its crystal clear water…

More people now in evidence. I can’t help overhearing conversations when I’m right behind people. A family of 3 were chatting and obviously had come up from London. The man was ambling along and the woman and girl were making fun of him being so slow, as they bumbled along at a speed. It was lovely to hear the dad say:

We’re not in London now, there’s no need to hurry. You’ll miss things if you don’t slow down and look”

How wonderful. The lovely thing was, they did all stop and the girl suddenly decided she wanted to take photographs 😍

On the final side of the lake now and with the summit of Cat Bells in view. I couldn’t tell if anyone was at the top…..until I zoomed in….and saw the crowds of people either lazing on the grass after their climb or continuing to walk…

This side is taken up by trundling in and out of the shade and cool of woods

Each corner revealing another beautiful bay

For some unknown reason I missed the turning for Hawes End where I was going to pay a visit to Sylvia and  say hello. Instead I had to take the jetty path, but perhaps that was meant to be. 

As I was stood trying to work out where I went wrong, a flicker caught my eye.

Only a foot from me, a Robin settled down, so close I could have picked it up…

Even as I moved my camera, it didn’t stir, no fear to make it take flight. It just stared at me. As people walked by, I just stayed and smiled. I held out my hand but then realised I’d forgotten to bring any food in my pocket 🙈. I’m sure if there’d been food there it would have hopped onto my hand. Was it Sylvia I asked it? And it cocked its head as if tempting me to believe.

In fact it was easier to find Sylvias resting place from the way round. The tree clearly visible as the landmark and the stones beyond

I chatted with her for a while before looking up and seeing Friars Cragg. A seed of an idea began to grow…..

What do you think Sylvia, could I climb that once more?” 

I didn’t have to hear her response, I know what she’d say…..

I said my farewells and was half hoping the launch would appear, my legs now starting to get weary, my camera suddenly a lead weight around my neck ….but no such luck today.

As I’m walking through the woods….., 

…….still 1-2 miles left.. and I get that unwanted message on my camera:

Battery exhausted”

Whenever that message appears, there’s usually powere for 2 or 3 more if I leave gaps in between. So I decided to leave it for the Alpacas. There they were at the top of the hill

This time the battery was as exhausted as me. No more piccies so havn’t a clue if anything special happened even though I know the route I took.

What I do know, as I’m typing this, is I headed back to my room and had a much needed cuppa……

A Mystery Tour with Pip and Scooby…..

Yesterday Pip messaged me asking if I fancied going somewhere different with her and Scooby…….a nano second elapsed before my response was YES!

We planned to meet around 1pm and after the severe storms of the day before I thought the air might feel fresh and renewed for an early morning walk first.

I hadn’t bargained on an unseasonably strong breeze blowing as I batted my way to the pond 😂….I’d meant to take them some food but have got out of the routine so completely forgot and walked passed the green bag of seed I’d placed by the door 🙄…..

It was still early and the ducks were still snoozing

Even the Moorhen chicks and parents were still huddled together 

So they weren’t fussed about the lack of food in my hand as I trundled along the footbridge, snapping as I went

It was only to be an hours walk as I had to be back for an early morning zoom, so I went through the houses and along the back lane

My pace quickened through the gallops and down the lane passed Halfpenny cottage as the air was getting darker as more storm clouds appeared to be approaching

Hopefully the weather would be fine for my afternoon mystery tour, as I headed home for my morning cuppa.

My doorbell went and threw me in a fluster as I’d lost track of time 😳…it was 1pm already and Pip and her smiley face were waiting for me….luckily I didn’t have to grab anything more than my camera and off we went, Scooby snuggled on the floor next to me

I didn’t have a clue where we were going but we ended up on a single track road travelling through a glorious valley, every now and then spotting a Kite in the sky above. We finally arrived, 30 minutes later at our mystery destination, Millington Wood.

We parked up, but instead of venturing into the wood itself, we decided to head out and up through the valley climbing high

So many meadow flowers lined our route as we climbed higher and higher

Then we saw a whole host of partridge feeding stations at the side of a field planted with sweet corn. I’ve never seen so many partridges all in one place

Trekking through long grass, every now and then stopping to take piccies

Or me taking piccies of Pip taking piccies 😂 We longed to see the kites we’d seen on our way in, but they remained elusive

More partridges came into view

Then we reached a point where we had to decide how to get down. We could have carried along the path into the distance but we knew we had to get down on to the road below somehow and the path would take too long 🤪

So we decided to snake our way down the side of the steep hill, or maybe I convinced Pip that we should give it a go 🤣 A beautiful black and white butterfly caught our attention

Then shuffling our way sideways down the hillside, giggling as one of us took a stumble, we suddenly saw what we’d come for and both stood still, our cameras at the ready. None of my shots were clear as it hovered and swooped, hovered and changed direction

But it put on a show for ages, so long in fact that Pip sat on the side of the hill, but I knew if I sat I’d end up rolling down the hill when I tried to stand 😂….

We just found its presence such a joy

Both of us attempting to get a good shot, both of us mesmerised by it simply being there

We thought many times it had flown out of sight only for it to reappear

Must have been with us for a good 20 minutes before heading off into the distance, but what a joy to watch it, made the climb and the descent soo worth while

As we trundled through the valley, Pip picked up a weed and handed it to me

She told me to squeeze then smell it – it was pineapple! A pineapple weed that can be made into tea….😍

Scooby all the while, the leader of his pack, we headed by to where we’d parked the car

Another footpath on the left came into view, so we wandered down it to come across a small lake

Back at the car, we then ventured into Millington wood, Pip and Scooby leading the way

It looked a magical place but after our long walk, I was starting to feel tired. It would be worth coming back to the wood again to do the whole walk around justice. 

Such beautiful places on our doorstep, hidden away down little known lanes. 

Scooby settled himself down next to me again as we headed home, thankful for the sighting of the kite, which made it all worth while on a cloudy and very blustery day. But the weather didn’t matter, the company was wonderful as were the sights. 

We were almost home when Pip saw something else in the sky, and pulled over…..and I thought the day couldn’t get any better – a Kestrel hovering above us…..

Sometimes it’s just the simple things in nature that can give you a wonderful day, lift your spirits and make you smile and today was one such day……

A selfie, courtesy of Pip 😍

Thankful for a cooler day……

After the recent heat wave, I was sooo glad to wake up to a cloudy cool day….never happy are we? 😂 the evening before I’d captured the full moon in all its glory

I’d already walked into town and caught the bus back first thing……

….. but after lunch my legs were itching for another trundle and since it was cooler I decided to venture further to Folly Lake and back. People often ask me, why don’t you use walk for a change and not have the heavy camera round your neck? My reply is always the same:

But I never know what I might see”

So first stop would be the pond, but nearby is a lovely little garden and this year they planted something with the tiniest of flowers. When in bud, they were the size of a ball bearing but now some have opened and I always have to take a piccie as I pass……

The ducks also looked happier in the cooler weather and were out in the open as opposed to sheltering in the undergrowth

Through the houses and down the back lane, a sunflower, perfectly wrapped and waiting to reveal the petals inside 

Nature is so clever, but people are often too busy to notice…..a little sunshine and the parcel will reveal it’s yellow splender.

Through the gallops towards Halfpenny cottage, where I’ll turn left and follow the long lane for a while …..

….before taking a left through the fields. A yellow hammer singing loudly on the telegraph wire

Following the track, potato fields followed by barley, then a field full of Christmas sprouts

I’d never noticed how beautiful a sprout plant is before…..with daisys growing at the side of their field – it looks like one enormous green flower….

Eventually I reach the lake

I thought the lack of sunshine might have kept people at home, but many had the same idea as me and were enjoying the cooler day. Fisherman lined the lake, sheltering in their tents; their rods set up and silent…

Many simply sat, waiting and watching for the twitch of the line. One suddenly saw his reward and hauled it in, proud as punch, before announcing to anyone who might be listening…

a three pounder, 3 pound of bream….”

The smile on his face told of his joy as he gently unhooked it and allowed it its freedom back into the lake…..

Back up the track to the road and a flock of gulls in a field catch my eye

Then another, bigger bird comes into view – a heron

Not often you see a heron in the middle of the field. Maybe he was heading for the lake to show the fishermen how its done…..as it takes off in that direction

The field of sheep are next. They were newborn lambs the last time I was here. 

Along the winding road before going through the gate back to the village

The odd poppy at the edge of the crops brighten the fields of green..

The farm comes into view

Not far to go now…and a beautiful Linnet rests on the high wire – I’d never seen a Linnet before last week and since then I’ve seen them every day!

I was going to go through the churchyard but could hear music and children’s voices coming from the playing field. It was Year 6 having their last day at little school party. Lots of fun and laughter. The annual ‘shirt signing’ still seems to be the order of the day. 

The end of an era for these young people and September would see them start the secondary school and the start of a new adventure for them

I ended where I started, back at the pond….the ducks looking content just as I felt….

You see, you never know what you might see on a trundle, if only you take the time to look…

In need of a different trundle…

The weathermen had promised a fresher start to the day after all the intense heat of the weekend, so when I woke and drew my curtains, I opened my window to check if their promise had come to fruition…..and it had….

As I sat drinking my cuppa tea, I began thinking where I could walk for a change, but no images would come to mind apart from the one I’d been doing every day for a while now..🙄 I showered and still no new thoughts so I decided to go where my feet took me.

Out of the door they turned right instead of left, good start…but instead of doing my normal walk in reverse, the cow field attracted my attention. I could see the cows in the distant, nowhere near the path and looking settled…

A rabbit sat in the morning dew came into view

Down the track towards the pond

I could hear all the ducks quacking so knew either Peter or Simon were out feeding them; turned out to be Peter the duck man so my piccie shows the pond looking empty

…but that’s because they were all crowded round Peter 😂

As he left them to feed the noise subsided and a few ducks slipped back into the water

Up through the houses but instead of turning right along the back lane I turned left

Hay bales lay in the field, fodder for the horses later in the year

Through the gap in the hedge, I make my way up the road and realise I’m heading towards, what I call bluebell wood. Others call it garlic wood but such is my dislike of the smelly bulb, it’s Bluebell wood to me 🤣

I can soon turn left and trundle along a farmers track with so many butterflies fluttering around

Eventually the track leads to the cool shady wood

The temperature drops, the ground still with patches of wet mud from the rain weeks ago. The canopy of trees not allowing the suns heat to infiltrate to the ground.

Soon at the end I reach the small wooden bridge leading to the farmers field.

Field after field of Rye, I think 🤔

The long windy path directs me and makes me feel safe. So clear, so welcoming.

At the end another cooler shady copse leading me back to the village road

So peaceful. I havn’t seen a soul for the whole 2 hours it’s taken me. Just the sound of nature and the occasional click of my camera to keep me company…

Back out into the noise of the road, I head back into the village, spotting a rabbit pondering on a driveway

The pond comes into view; I’ve gone full circle. The ducks and Terence the terrapin sharing the log in the pond

As I head back home for my cuppa…..a nice change of a trundle thanks to my feet for taking me there…

A Sunday trundle before the heat of the day…..

This last weekend has been a scorchio couple of days…..on the Saturday I’d spent the afternoon taking photos of the local village cricket team playing a match and even they’d had to stop every few overs so everyone could have a drink, but it was all worth it as they won!

I loved cricket in my youth. We played at school which was very unusual for an all girls school but the PE teachers were very good at letting us choose what sport we wanted to play and I used to choose everything 😂. I followed the test matches long before One Day cricket existed and my favourite umpire was Yorkshireman Dickie Bird, simply because of his name 🥰

I digress…..back to Sundays early morning walk. It was going to be a scorcher again, but even early on it was hot….I’m not really a lover of ‘hot’ and much prefer balmy gentle heated summer days, but hey ho. 

Cyclists were out in force today, also making the most of the early morning

I went up to the village allotments first. As you turn the corner into this heavenly place, you can sense immediate calm. It can be a hive of activity, but no sound fills the air, just a sense of calm.

I came across beautifully scented roses

And giant sunflowers just starting to open

Onions layer out to dry in the hot summers heat

Squash starting to grow ready for autumn soups, hidden under natures canopy of giant leaves.

Each plot has it’s own welcoming sign, maybe a name, or a quirky message

There were people tending their plots, but the only sound was fork sinking into the ground or the snip of secateurs. No wonder plot holders just come and sit here, an instant calm to a stressful day.

Sadly no plot for me to sit and watch from, so I retrace my steps and head back along the road, turning to head towards the mirage lane. As I stopped to allow a car to pass I saw my shadow on the road alongside the shadow of the hedgerow

More cyclists heading along the popular lane

I always go halfway, in the hope of seeing the deer (which I’ve only seen once, but you never know) and then head back down again and continue through the village.

Now to Risby Lane, where the trees provided some much needed shade and coolness

It was here, the day before that I’d seen a horse throw its rider and canter away spooked by something on the ground. I couldn’t wobble quick enough to help her, but Tom, who’d been walking beside me with his bike, had headed off to help. The rider was shaken and  bruised and hobbled off and Tom went to rescue the horse and take it back to the stable…..

In the winter, the birds are so easy to see along here but the summer leaves provide them with shelter and they can often be heard but not seen. But this blackbird flew in and allowed me to see his landing spot

Passing by Halfpenny cottage, the wheat in the field was looking strong after all the rain and now the with the sun to finish it off

Into the gallops and the horses have moved field, making it easier to see them and say hello as they came bounding down to see the camera lady…

I decided to cut through the overgrown copse to be in the shade

And then headed to the pond, my final destination, where all was quiet; the heat sending the ducks looking for shade. Just one growing duckling in view, who hasn’t quite got the message yet…..

Very hot and I imagine thirsty, I headed home before the midday sun wiped me out……

Hours of bliss…..

It had been a lovely rock-a-bye baby moon the night before. Just as I was going up the stairs I peeked out of the window and saw the silver shape in the sky…

The following morning I went out early and as I stood locking my front door I heard it before I saw it. A gentle snuffle and movement through the greenery could mean only one thing…..

I went to get a saucer of water, just in case it was thirsty on its travels, but it was a hedgehog on a mission as its tiny legs shuffled straight passed…and on its way to wherever ….

What a lovely way to start the day….me and Pip had arranged to go for a walk but that wouldn’t be until late afternoon as Pip isn’t a morning person 😂….

So I went for my usual morning walk and as I reached the corner 2 penny farthings appeared transforming me back in time and conveniently having to stop at the end of the road so I could take a piccie 😂

Along the mirage lane, deserted this morning as the weather was cloudy, not much summer sun to entice out the walkers or cyclists; just me and the lane all to myself……

…..well apart from the rooks keeping their beady eyes on the village

Turning halfway up and retracing my steps I headed towards the main road and a clump of beautiful poppies brightened the roadside

Up and down along the lanes, aimlessly trundling just because I can, birds every now and then catching my eye going about their daily tasks

And a Yellowhammer singing its heart out

And then a gorgeous male linnet which I don’t remember seeing before, but Pip assures me we saw a whole group of them somewhere 😳

Eventually reaching the pond and still baby Moorhens appearing……and the ducklings, now getting bigger, having a snuggle

Perfect time to head home for a cuppa…..

Mid afternoon Pip txt me and I headed towards the church. The church door was open and I stepped inside for a peek at the peace

Hearing my name being called I headed back outside to see Pip and Scooby waiting for me

We were only going for a short walk through the wood as the sun had now appeared

We headed along the track, Scooby continually leading the way and every now and then checking we were present and correct

Through the Willow path where Pip had started to make an archway with the willow branches. Entwining their branches to create a beautiful cool natural archway

Scooby looking round, supervising proceedings and telling us when to move on 😂

Then into the wood to find any pockets of fungi. The first to be found were tiny parachutes

Then hairy curtain crusts just starting to regrow on the old fallen trunk

Then Pip showed me, hidden in the undergrowth at the base of a tree, some dead mans fingers 😳…..my piccie didn’t come out so here’s one Pip took before

We sauntered through the wood, chatting and laughing, Scooby all the while herding us forward….

…before finally reaching the Mother Tree where artists brackets grow just waiting for someone to write a message on this stunning fungi

It had been Pips late mums birthday the week before, so a message just for her seemed perfect 😍

It had been a lovely gentle walk, ending with a refreshing drink for Scooby

And time to head home ….what a lovely day……🥰

A beautiful day for nature, trundle…..

Before I went away, so this was written probably 2 weeks ago, I had one of those days that make your heart burst, a day you’re sooo glad to be alive and it was all because of the nature around me…

I woke to a glorious morning after the rain of the day before and decided to go for an early morning long walk. I don’t usually do a long walk first thing but today, it felt right. I knew I had a zoom mid morning and Sarah was coming at 12, so I needed to make the most of my early rise.

So to the duck pond first….the second batches of Moorhen chicks are doing really well and were out on the first island

Terence and Teresa Terrapins were having an argy bargy as Teresa had got to the favourite log just minutes before Terence surfaced

He tried to nudge her off but she was having none of it 🤣

In recent days we’ve had 2 further batches of ducklings; a set of 4 and one of 7….they were all just stirring. Mum on her nest with some

And the other set just waking on the grass

One little one desperately tried to wake up and keep up with the others but kept stopping and falling asleep standing 😂

Then round the back of the village, through the gallops and onto Halfpenny Cottage where the Jacksons have lived. Mr Jackson told me one day how he moved there when he was 4 years old and they had a horse and cart to move their things from the farm down the road to the cottage – I could listen to stories like that for ever and a day…😍

In the empty cottage across from them sits a beautiful tree, and this year the flowers from the rambling rose tree had made it picture perfect

Mrs Jackson, said their friend, the previous owner had planted it just there so Mrs Jackson would be able to see it from her kitchen window across the way. But she never remembers it flowering as beautifully as this before ❤️

Continuing down the long lane there was an early morning chill in the air, even though the sun was shining and felt more like an autumn morning than summer…🙄

Abbys sheep lay still in their field, almost hidden by the long grass

Turning left along Little Weighton lane, I eventually came to the main road and had to keep my wits about me as there’s no footpath here but luckily the early morning traffic was light and most gave me a wide berth…

Up the lane towards the mirage lane and I w it was deserted apart from a figure in the distance

I trundle half way up the lane, then turn and head home for my first cuppa of the day….it must have been 4/5 miles, which is a tad risky first thing as I won’t have had a drink since 6 the night before. The problem is, as well as not feeling hunger, I now don’t feel thirsty, dementia at work once more 🙄

The day before Sarah had found a poppy field and promised to take me there. So she picked me up at 12, as promised, and drove me into the next village. I remember in my youth that poppy fields were everywhere. I adored them, but now they seem a rarity, so seeing this one was very special.

Sadly even this one had diggers around destroying it 😢…..but I managed to see it before it all became a building site

I then asked if we could have a quick visit to the Wetlands Nature reserve on the way home. So we drove down a single bumpy track and suddenly I spied a daisy field!

Sarah stopped the car for me to take a quick piccie

As we got to the Wetlands, a beautiful nature reserve, we got out and ambled to the seating area. A robin hopped by us to say hello

But then we saw the most amazing sight……a Kestrel in full flight…

I adore these birds, their markings so beautiful…

It flew into the tree to look down for its prey and seemed to stay for an age – it was probably a couple of minutes 

Then I blinked, and it flew off into the distance. But for a few minutes we were privileged to see it close up ❤️

We were buzzing. I couldn’t wait to get home and see the piccies/ I never know if they’re going to turn out or not until I load them onto my ipad. Today I wasn’t disappointed.

Nature, just put on a spectacular show for me today…..for me, a perfect day as I sit typing this so it’s not forgotten….