A Sleightly Better Day

Today was a better one for walking. It did rain overnight but, the frost had sent in to ensure that the ground wasn’t too soft when I arrived in Draycott. I did drive up and down the village once, hoping to park near the church that I’d also spotted on Google Streetview but, wouldn’t you know it, that road was closed off! Access was still permissible but, being a Sunday and all, I didn’t want to risk causing an obstruction of any kind. So, I parked back up by the school I think I mentioned yesterday. There are no gates on the premises and, as it turned out, the car park was busy as there was another church right next door.

Draycott Sleights

Draycott Sleights

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Sand Point

Yeah, I’m struggling to come up with an original title for this one so, I’m just going to tell it as it is! 😉

This was something I did yesterday afternoon, as I finish work around lunchtime on a Friday. It’s not far from Brean Down (north along the coast), where I went about two months ago. As I mentioned with my most recent poem, I was also intending to do two walks today… I got up early enough, showered, put on clean clothes, made my lunch and got all my stuff together… Everything was planned, until I arrived to park at my first destination in Blagdon, only to find that the free car park was full! I drove around for a bit but, it’s such a confined village with so many narrow roads that I wasn’t sure of where else to rest my car. Perhaps I’ll see the lake on another day.

Sand Point from Sand Bay

Sand Point from Sand Bay

Failing that, I decided to head on towards what would’ve been my second destination; thinking that I could do the day in reverse. Instead of returning down the road I knew, I decided to ‘improvise’ by following my own senses towards the village of Draycott, located north of the city of Wells, just outside of Cheddar. According to Google Street View (“Google Godsend“, as I prefer to call it! ;-)), there was a pub close to the start point where I could park. I drove straight through the village once, believing I must’ve missed it. On my return drive through (as the fuel warning light came on), I realised that the car park was sealed off beside what appeared to now be a house!

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There was a school nearby with two cars resting but, I wasn’t sure if it would be right to park there or not… There is actually another pub further down past the-one-that-isn’t-anymore. If the rain holds off and I decide to try again tomorrow morning then, that is probably where I’ll park. No suggestions for car-parking were provided with this route.

Sand Bay to Weston-super-Mare

Sand Bay to Weston-super-Mare

Now, let’s return to the sea of yesterday…

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Submerged

Today was my second walk with walking group I joined recently and, after arriving at the second meeting point on time (Keynsham Station – a little early, in fact), I faced a bit of an unexpected wait before the train arrived from Bristol Temple Meads, carrying others from the group. There were only six others, plus the walk leader, which is quite a shadow on the turn-out for the walk seven-days ago. Most were new faces or, certainly, people I’d not met or spoken to before.

I remember getting ‘looks’ from other people waiting for their trains. There I was, dressed up in walking gear (muddy boots and gaiters still soiled from a week ago). Well, it helped the rest of the group to identify me as ‘another’ as they stepped on to the platform.

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Court in the Moment

My week started with a whole two-days off of work and, rather sadly, no plans to do anything in particular or to see anyone socially (which hurt twice as much, following the disappointment of Saturday). For both days, the weather forecast was, to say the least, a little worse than what we could’ve hoped for and the severe flooding that we’ve suffered in the days since is evidence of that. Upon waking up, Monday didn’t look too bad. If there were rain clouds in the sky, they didn’t look ready to burst for a few hours. I was looking to escape outdoors somewhere with my camera but, I also said I would take the time to drop my sister off at her volunteering job and pick her up again after lunch. She usually walks there but, she had some trouble with her shoes recently and so, if we were to account for thirty-minutes of driving in each direction, that would’ve left me with no more than one-hour to spend with my camera (not nearly enough time).

Oldbury Court Estate, Bristol

So, I moped around in my bed for much of the day and postponed my adventure until Tuesday, when I awoke to the sight of rain falling heavily from the dark clouds above. It wasn’t letting up but then, I was very bored and fed up of being stuck indoors. My boots were still in the van from Sunday’s walk and I felt as though they could do with a wash so, I donned my waterproofs and off I went to the Oldbury Court Estate in Bristol.

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A New Venture

Today was my first walk with the local group (for ‘young’ people only) that I joined a few weeks ago on a year’s membership. After yesterday’s disappointment, I was looking forward to this, even though I had my anxieties about meeting and interacting with new faces, finding my way and and hoping that my van didn’t break down.

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Bogged Down but Not Out!

After a two-week hiatus from walks, opting instead to hide beneath the covers from the cold, with dark clouds building in my head; I ventured out today on a five-mile walk in the area of West Harptree; a walk that incorporates views of both Chew Valley Lake (I so badly want to type Cheddar Valley Lake…) and Herriotts Mill Pool.

Very boggy!

I’ll save the best photos until the end, as that is how the walk progressed; leaving the best until last when it would be appreciated the most. This is another walk from the 8 Wild Walks Across the Mendip Hills book. In which, they do warn that the paths can be quite ‘boggy’, as you’ll see above…

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Walking the (Sky)Line

It was still foggy when I got up this morning but, that was mostly in the outdoors. Inside, my head was still a little down but, with no definite rain clouds in sight or forecast until the late afternoon, I decided to get up and make something of the day by making my long-awaited return to the beautiful city of Bath. Last time I was there was back in April; six-months ago now. I’d arranged to meet a friend from a dating site and, although the day went okay and we got to see a few places around the city, well, the friendship didn’t last and we’ve not been in contact since the end of July.

Today was about walking and site-seeing; following the six-mile trail as outlined by the National Trust. It is a beautiful city and, although I’ve only been there twice now, I do prefer it to Bristol. I’d like to spend more time there, if I do ever end up meeting someone special who is strong enough to leave her past behind and move on…

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Another Bleadon Hill

After my ‘rest day’ yesterday, I was back out walking again this morning. I always try and aim to get going a little earlier each time but, as is usual by now, I didn’t arrive at the car park for this one until 11.25, which gave me five-minutes to change my shoes and set off ‘on time’. I was able to find this space without printing out a driving map and taking that with me. For the last few weeks, I’ve been more concerned with my walking routes. Studying Google Maps for some time really does help and I feel confident enough to trust my memory with the drives there (getting back is always easy). Again, the Street View allows you to see many things up close before you leave, including any notable ‘land marks’ that you can use to identify un-marked turnings and road junctions and, on this occasion, I was able to spot the bridleway I needed to find at the beginning of the walk.

8 Wild Walks Across the Mendip Hills

From there, I was able to use a small map for the rest of the walk, which came as part of a book I bought recently. 8 Wild Walks Across the Mendip Hills was only £5 from a local book shop last week (first time I’d been in there and I feel good having done that) and it provides you with enough detail to find your way around (it’s a lot better than the AA map I struggled with a fortnight ago, anyway…).

Walking route for Bleadon Hill.

Today, I set off to Bleadon Hill near Weston-super-Mare.

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Blaising Emotion

Well, the title isn’t quite the perfect fit for this posting but, I did venture out to Blaise Castle this afternoon in an attempt to try and rid myself of some of the emotion I’ve been feeling over the whole ‘May’ situation this week. As you may remember, it was the very first ‘adventure’ I went on, back in August. I already had the majority of photos I needed and only really went back with the intention of capturing the two caves I was unable to snap before. Also, it is a place that I associate with my memory of and feelings for May. When we first met online, we talked about going here together. It never happened and, I did feel a bit ‘guilty’ going there alone. It’s one of a few places that will always remind me of her… Some may say that it’s best to avoid those kind of situations. However, I’m trying to be strong. If we end up avoiding things, we end up living in fear and, I can honestly say that I’ve spent enough of my life living in fear.

Nymph’s Cave – Without Children!

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Down But Not Out

Today started almost like any other Saturday morning plus, I was still dealing with the feelings associated with the news I discovered on Thursday night. I had a plan to go out for the day but, as the moment drew closer and I was ready to leave, I didn’t quite feel ready. For some reason, I just wanted to tell my mum about ‘the news’ that I was (and still am) struggling to accept. I spent a lot of time ‘umming and ahhing‘ in my room; pacing up and down; staring blankly at the wall with both hands on my head… Eventually, I walked in to the living room and, as I sat down, she looked at me as though she new I had something to say.

I told her, while managing to retain all my emotion and avoiding eye contact – I think I spent most of the time either with my head in my hands or, I was just rubbing my forehead. My eyes were also closed but, I was able to talk and, came to admit that it had upset me. Mum was more understanding than she had been in the past. There was less of the ‘this is what you should do‘ and more ‘how do you feel?‘, which I appreciated and, yes, it did seem to help. Telling her the little I knew about the fiancée, mum said it sounds as though there may be some kind of abuse or control issue present from the man’s side… It’s not really the sort of thing I need to be thinking about right now but, I’d be lying if I said that the same thoughts hadn’t already crossed my mind.

May did not respond to my congratulatory text this morning so, I’m leaving it for now. I worry about leaving things for too long though as she’s probably quite used to me sending weekly updates on where I’ve been. I worry that she might feel I’m abandoning her and may even accuse me of being jealous at a later date (I have previously told her of my feelings for her…).

Eventually, I did leave the house and feeling slightly better about things and this is where I went for a few hours…

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