Further afield …

Day 28 of Lockdown. 20/04/2020

Over the weekend we heard that we are now allowed to drive to a destination for walking. The guidelines state that the distance you travel by car should not exceed the length of your walk. So we chose a suitable destination and set off excitedly, expanding our horizons. Unwittingly we did travel a little further than our walk turned out to be – but what’s a mile or two between friends. It was not our intention to break the rules, we had a fabulous walk and appreciated every minute of what felt like a newfound freedom.

We drove to Drayton Parslow – Steve was familiar with a 6 mile circular walk across fields and farmland, through a couple of villages. It was clear blue sky and sunshine but a chilly wind, especially when walking across exposed areas, but being experienced ramblers we were layered up and ready. It was amazing to be in unfamiliar landscape.

Our first step into the route involved climbing over a stile into a field with horses. I love horses and am normally not nervous of them … but then I’m not usually in the same field as them. Being aware of ‘social distancing’ I had decided it was not a great idea to stroke said equine friends. As it turned out, one of the horses felt most put out that he wasn’t getting any attention … and so trotted closely behind us, neighing, all the way to our getaway stile. It left me feeling heartless though – he just didn’t understand the lockdown rules!

It was another stunning countryside walk, appreciating nature – wild flowers, red kites, kestrels, butterflies, sheep, newborn lambs, cows, horses, blooming hedgerows – feel so lucky. Also some fabulous examples of countryside living – much house envy!

This is certainly a sheep farming area – we walked through field after field of them. And so many newborn lambs – all frisky, under the watchful eye of ‘Mum.’ And the Mums were certainly keeping a close watch on us as we walked near them, heads jutting out, eyes locked on our every move … the little ones oblivious.

Getting towards the end of our walk we were faced with walking though a field of cows. Although pretty experienced in doing this from our coastal walking, it really is NOT my favourite thing – too many stories of cows chasing heard. This ‘herd’ were tucked into the far end of the field, nonchalantly grazing … but not for long. As we progressed through, their heads popped up one by one and then in one large group they started heading towards us. As they started to block off the stile we were aiming for I started to let out a few shrieks (as I do). Steve leapt to my protection by doing his farmer bit, making himself tall, waving his arms around and shooing. I moved as fast as my little legs allowed me (without running, as I didn’t want to invite a chase) … and we got speedily over the stile in one piece. I think they’re just lonely – everyone’s missing interaction!

Finally found ourselves back in the beautiful village of Drayton Parslow and wandered back to the car, spotting ‘For Sale’ houses along the way.

So good to travel a bit further afield today, such a treat. Driving back home we passed a police car …. immediately felt guilty for some reason – all prepared with Garmin evidence if necessary. These are strange times – you feel like a fugitive.

And got home just in time to join in with a family Zoom – 7 out of my 8 siblings on board today – Maureen, Margaret, Pete, Caroline, Geraldine, Shane and me + visits from other halves! We hardly came up for air … but got knocked out after 40 minutes … (Zoom not extending anymore unless you pay) .. probably a good thing, we’d still be there now!

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