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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Home Is Where the Hiking Is (or Was)

It’s been almost twenty-four hours since I last had anything to eat and I don’t think I managed more than two-hours worth of sleep last night. I left work yesterday feeling ‘a bit ill’ and not-right, before I found myself sat on the toilet and, well, I’ll spare you the details! Needless to say, it’s leave me feeling very weak and ‘hurty’ (like a flu bug) and, as I’m not feeling much better today, it looks like I’ll have to pass on the planned group walk this evening.

DSCN2277

At least now, I have a chance to sit down and write about the walk I went on last Sunday. There aren’t many photos to share but I’ll try to keep you entertained.

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Wrap It Up

This is my first weekly writing challenge and I’ve decided to take this to create a list of ten things that I have been grateful and thankful for in 2012. I was hoping to do this two days ago (in preparation for 21/12/12…) but, you know how life goes and other things often get in the way and sometimes prevent you from doing things. So, in no particular order, here we go:

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Friends

What a good day I’ve had! 🙂

Until late last night, I was anticipating another ‘lonely’ day of walking around and exploring the local countryside with nothing more than my own company. But, after a late-night Facebook conversation, it became clear that my closest friend was keen to see me and for us to get out and do something together. We each had ideas of our own and would wait until the morning before making any decisions.

I was delighted to receive a text from her before I had a chance send one myself. Working spontaneously like that can actually be a good thing. From my own experiences, I can relate to how planning too much too far ahead can lead to anxious thoughts and feelings leading up to the event. That’s partly why I ‘failed’ to make arrive in time for my group walk yesterday.

Ashton Court Mansion

Today though, we were able to arrange a meeting place and later destination within a short space of time.

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Going East (Slightly)

I may have suffered some anxiety and disappointment issues earlier today when I missed the group walk but, as I said I would, I made it out on my own a little bit later, on another chapter in my adventure across the Mendip Hills.

East Harptree Wood and Smitham Chimney

Today, it was off towards the village of East Harptree for a four-mile trek through the local woodland and combe. You may remember that I went to West Harptree a few weeks ago, which is closer to Chew Valley Lake.

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After Lunch

After climbing and crossing the hills of Draycott in the morning, I headed north-west(-ish) to the village of Winscombe in North Somerset. I did briefly pass through King’s Wood a few months ago, on my way up to Crook Peak. This prevented me with another car parking nightmare, as the space provided (free of charge) by The National Trust was packed upon my arrival! I guess everyone else had the same kind of idea, on a day where rain wasn’t due to fall until, erm, just before I returned to my van at the end of the walk!

King's Wood - Winscombe

King’s Wood – Winscombe

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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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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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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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