Somewhere else

May 28, 2012

Getting close in the garden

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February 12, 2012

Wolds in Winter

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February 6, 2012

Queue for King’s College Choir Cambridge Copes with the Cold on Christmas Eve

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February 3, 2012

Poetry corner

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He who binds to himself a joy
Doth the winged life destroy,
But he who kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in Eternity’s sunrise.

William Blake (1757-1827)

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

November 4, 2011

Walking the Wolds – Day seven

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Graham accompanied me on this walk 🙂

He used his smartphone and GPS to track our progress – so clever!

I came back and played with this new online facility at Ordnance Survey (Click to open, then click on aerial to get a bird’s eye view of our route.)

and added these pictures:

November 3, 2011

Walking the Wolds – Day Six – To Sausthorpe!

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There must be something about Sausthorpe  – – – when we first moved here, we set out for a short amble around Hundleby and ended up there.

Today, I set out to do a bit of dog training – – – and ended up there again!

It started with a, “Let’s see what there is down here!” and followed with a compulsion to keep going!

I had no map with me, of course, so followed my nose. My nose must be fairly straight, by the look of the route I took until meeting the Lincoln to Skegness road. From there, I made my way home by road – not nearly so interesting, but quiet, nevertheless, and faster. In total I’d walked four and a half miles and completed another mile and a quarter of footpath.

The footpath walked today is the one running more or less south to north from Sumpter Farm to the Partney Road.

Walking the Wolds – day five

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Day five

Another mile and a half of public footpath walked today and a bit more of my local area explored 🙂

Retracing steps to avoid the busy A16 added to the total length of the afternoon’s walk and there was some necessary pavement pounding too, but one of the joys of the local paths is meeting people who live nearby. They are always happy to share local knowledge and have a chat, and I never cease to be amazed by how much they know about us already! I’ve met people who have known instantly who I am and where I live, just from the sight of young Amos, whose reputation (at least I hope it’s his, not mine!) obviously precedes him! The lady I met for the first time today even knew that my husband does a bit of wood-turning – word travels fast and far in a rural community!

I didn’t really plan my route today, and didn’t take a map, so I was happy when a chap I’d spoken to outside his house the other week stopped to admire Amos again and told me of a footpath I might like to explore. The lady who knew about Tim’s hobby (and his family, it transpired!) also described a route I might take.

Crops of the day were: oilseed rape, leeks, broccoli and curly kale.

Drawn in on my return, the walk I did today is shown below in green over pink high-lighter:

November 2, 2011

Walking the Wolds, day four – Mavis Enderby to Raithby by Spilsby

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Day four – Mavis Enderby to Raithby by Spilsby

The dogs and I took advantage of a lift to Mavis Enderby – what a lovely name, and one which reminds me of a story told in the family:

A very well-spoken gentleman stopped to ask a local man the way to “Enderby” (Imagine extreme plumb-in-mouth accent), to which came the reply, in a broad Lincolnshire dialect, “woodbaggamarevis?”  (To any reader not familiar with the area, that was: Wood Enderby, Bag Enderby, or Mavis Enderby?)

Anyway, back to the walk!

When you’re driving eastward along the B1195 to Spilsby, or west towards the main Lincoln to Skegness road, it’s very easy to dismiss Mavis Enderby, which appears to consist of just a few houses either side of the road near the turn-off for Old Bolingbroke.  But, take the quiet road into the village proper and you’re rewarded with a secluded cluster of old houses, a square-towered church almost hidden by trees, a rather large house standing in an imposing position to the north of the church and a view of hills, woods and ponds not visible from the road.

It was here that we began our walk.
There were a number of stiles to negotiate – not always easy with two dogs on leads, especially if the stile sits at the top of a steep rise, but there were holes for the dogs to climb through. I was grateful I didn’t have to man-handle them over the top! (Spike’s heavy!)
This was a short walk of about three quarters of a mile, through a mixture of pasture and arable fields. Rapeseed is a prevalent crop around here, but the surprise for me was a healthy-looking stand of sweetcorn.

Dropping down into Raithby was a bit dicey, with the footpath across the final grass field flanked on both sides by an electric fence! I had a tight hold on the dogs’ leads at that point!

Raithby (by Spilsby, not to be confused with cum Maltby) is an attractive village with an interesting history, connected with John Wesley.  In July 1788 he recorded in his journal,

“We went to Raithby, an earthly paradise. How gladly would I rest here a few days”.

The Wesley Chapel, built for him during his ministry, is situated within the stables of Raithby Hall, now converted to mews.

I had planned to continue the walk to Hundleby, by the right of way marked on the map to the north of the road from Raithby,  but that one evaded me. I could find no signposts or any evidence of a footpath across the fields where it’s supposed to be, so I tracked around the headland and then rejoined the road instead. I intend to go back and try that one again – it might need a letter to the council and/or the Ramblers Association to see what might have happened to it!

October 24, 2011

Walking the Wolds

Walking the entire network of public footpaths and bridleways which criss-cross the Lincolnshire Wolds, is a plan conceived just four days ago. So far, I’ve walked on three of those days and today is young!

Day one

was the Escher Walk, my own name for a circular route from the house, which seems to be downhill all the way!

I do this walk often, but needed to cover the ground officially on my first day, to make it count (OCD?)

It’s about two miles.

Day two

was a two mile walk in the dark (so no photographs) along the banks of the disused canal ( a section of the River Bain) on the south-western outskirts of Horncastle. We walked southward as far as the bridge by the old railway cottage on the road to Thornton, and came back along the other side.

This stirred up a few memories from my teens, when it was one of my daily walks with Jess.

There have been a few additions to the walk, in the form of numerous signs warning the unaware that water can be dangerous ( 😛 ) and fences to stop you crossing the canal at the lock. Somewhere, I have black and white photographs of Jess and and me crossing the canal at that very point! You’re also warned not to step out onto the concrete weir at the start of the canal – a favourite place, in the past, for walking across when the river was frozen or unusually low, and a pier from which young fishermen dipped their nets.  We would paddle with plastic-sandalled or plimsolled feet near the rushing water on hot Summer days. Canoeists in the river behind the weir would play with the pull of water going over the edge, or below it, would see how far into the rushing cascade they could probe their pointed bow.

And the swimming pool! Gone are the sounds of people having fun and the smell of chlorine that once pervaded the air as you neared it – the pool is no longer open-air. The stile on the footpath by the back corner of its garden would provide a brief vantage point from which to see who was enjoying a swim, or a sunbathe on the lawn. I remember the orderly queue of youngsters with rolled up towel underarm as they slowly crunched their way along the gravel path to the entrance. Marcella was always there!

And cold Winters! I once had a go at ice-skating on the huge frozen puddle in the field behind the swimming pool – couldn’t even stand up in those skates, could I, Christine?

Hmmm – didn’t expect this walking venture to bring back so many memories!

On the map below, you can see the disused canal running from north to south, midway between the A153 and the B1191.

Day three   

felt like my first “proper” day of  Walking the Wolds, as it was the first time I’d brought out the map to plan the day’s walk. I chose another circular route, starting at Belchford, heading for Scamblesby and back along part of the Viking Way (the canal-side tow-path from day two also forms part of this long-distance footpath).

My choice of route for the day was influenced by the name of a hill. Being local, the village name of Belchford held no fascination (though it might amuse those not familiar with it!)  Juicetrump Hill, on the other hand – new to me – just had to be seen!

I found this link, after we got back! Reverse the directions and that was our walk! Four and a half miles.

Belchford and Juicetrump Hill

A few photographs from the afternoon’s walk:

October 21, 2011

Everything falls into place

Once in a while, things happen at the right time and everything falls into place.

A friend told me of a radio programme I might enjoy. I tuned in, and not only did I find it interesting, but it set off a train of thought which left me excitedly planning a new activity.

I can start straight away.
It will cost me very little.
It will bring huge health benefits.
It could last me years.
It will stay fresh and invigorating.
I can do it alone or with friends (human or canine!)
It’s accessible in all weathers and at any time of year.
I need no special skills, training or equipment (I already have the maps, boots and waterproofs.)
I can do it at my own pace!

The programme was BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings, this week exploring part of the Lincolnshire Wolds from along the Viking Way.
My excitement grew along with my plan to walk, with my dogs, ALL of the public footpaths in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
I was born and bred here, love the Wolds, love walking the dogs and need a new focus and challenge.

Everything’s falling into place.

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