Walking with the Animals

It’s not long since I arrived home from my first group CBT session with Positive Step (at the time I began writing this, anyway). That’s an experience I’ll have to share with you another time and hopefully tomorrow evening. I know; I really should write about it now while it’s fresh in my mind but, I like to try and keep my posts in chronological order and there may be something to gain from twenty-four hours of hindsight and reflection. It’s a very positive experience so far though. 🙂

Before I go on, I’d just like to apologise to anyone who may have been affected or ‘triggered’ by the subject of my previous post. I did hope that the headline would be enough to ‘warn’ people without placing a ‘TW’ in the opening paragraph but it has received a more minute response than I would’ve expected. I’m sorry if it did affect anyone in any way. This is an on-going situation where it’s hard for me to accept that there’s only so-much I can do to help someone I care about. Someone I’m concerned for. But, I aim to do everything that I can, as a friend.

Tonight, I want to write about the walk I went on with the group on Sunday. If we weren’t trapped in this winter weather that has spanned almost one-third of a twelve-month period then, I would’ve been able to share some photos with you all.

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Blagdon Lake

It’s taken me a while to get around to sharing these photos with you, as this walk actually took place last Thursday afternoon, when I had a few hours to spare with the day off work, following my late-morning appointment with Positive Step.

Blagdon Lake in Somerset

My ankle had been hurting for around two weeks up until and including this day. In fact, it’s been giving more grief still throughout this week. I was unsure about doing a walk but then, I decided it was too cold to stay indoors without putting the heating on and not warm enough to get involved with another hobby so, I ventured out for one of the shorter walks from the book titled 8 Wild Walks Across the Mendip Hills.

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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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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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Off the Map

That’s actually the title of one of my favourite live music DVDs, featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers a decade ago (before they released By the Way). Right now, I feel like I’d rather be sat down watching that DVD (it has been a while) instead of reporting on my ‘events’ of the day…

I’ll start by saying that it didn’t go as according to plan and that I soon realised I had mistakenly followed a path that lead me off the map. What happens when things don’t go your way?

KitKat Khaos!

After miles of walking with sore feet, a stray stone in one boot and a slippery insole in the other, you find a bench to sit down and have some lunch and your KitKat ends up in a puddle underneath!

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Up High but Down Low

I want to try and keep this one going as a positive post because I’ve done well to drag myself out of bed, out of the house and out in to the fresh air of the Somerset countryside. Ever since I finished work yesterday lunchtime though, my mood has been on a steady decline. I spent the afternoon sleeping on top of my bed; I couldn’t even be bothered to walk the dog. My evening was no more pro-active and I was struggling to get going today. Even when I left the house, I wasn’t really in the mood and this usually changes once I’m out and about…

Maybe I’m finally getting bored of my own company? I have thoughts of not having to return to work until Thursday but still, I know I’m going to spend this time on my own. Maybe it was the setting?

Whatever the cause, I’m feeling low today and, not for the first time since I’ve been in counselling, I’m finding myself unable to crawl down and ‘hide away’ in my secret, safe space. It’s surrounded by nature; buried beneath a layer of leaves and grass. Inside, it is dark but, the walls are warm and earthly. Now, it’s as if someone’s concreted over and filled it in. I cannot break through, I cannot get in. I’m left stand out in the cold, exposed, feeling the way that I do right now.

Anyway, let’s have a look at where I went today…

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Gorge-ous!

It’s fair to say that I’ve enjoyed another good few hours out of the house today. People weren’t sure what to make of the forecast for the weekend and the next two days are meant to be a total wash out. Thankfully, the sun was out this morning and it hasn’t stopped shining all day. I was a little indecisive about where I was going to go today and a window of opportunity opened to meet up with a close friend last night, before it sadly blew shut again this morning. It’s okay though, we’ll see each other again soon and we’ll keep on sharing in the mean time.

I was contemplating a walk across the Mendip Hills (which I might actually do next week) but, I decided to face a potential fear and visit Cheddar Gorge, instead. You’ve probably heard of it (or, the cheese, at least). However, my biggest fear was not of the heights, sidling along cliff edges or even, having to step out in to the real world; I work with a guy from Cheddar who nobody likes. He can be pretty obnoxious at times and I had this bizarre fear that I might bump in to him. Actually, I think I did see him on the way back to my car but, I can’t be certain and it’s definitely not worth worrying about. 🙂

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