Becca Jane St Clair

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Archive for the 'walking' Category

Bramble Ramble

Monday was a day off for Tim. After I got back from a GP appointment, I said to Tim “let’s go on a walk ’round the farmer’s fields”. Tim got out the Ordnance Survey Map for the area instead and picked out a route that went across the A46 through a wooded area and through some fields. We were originally going to walk to the Stepping Stones (some metal stepping stones placed in the river to walk across), but Tim got a phone call while we were out asking him to pick up a shift that evening, so we cut across a nettle-filled path that went right on the edge of a grain field and the beck to get home, but we walked 5 miles in total! We stopped at the corner Spar shop on our way out and picked up some sandwiches and snacks, and filled up our water bottles before we left. Fortunately, the rain held off and we only got spritzed on as we were almost back home.

There are over 140,000 footpaths in England and Wales. Picking up an Ordnance Survey map is a great way to get to know an area. The maps have all the public right of ways marked, so as long as you can read a map (and maybe have a compass) you’re good to go out and explore. You just need to remember to always stay on the footpaths. Some footpaths go around farmer’s fields, and some even cut through people’s gardens! Tim was telling me a story once about a public right-of-way that actually went through a person’s house because their house got built on top of one.

As we were walking, I noticed wild blackberry bushes. I commented that I wished I had brought along a basket…and then I had a brilliant thought. I could use my hat! So, my hat became a basket and we gathered blackberries and hazelnuts (off the trees) while we walked.

Apologies for the photo quality. I forgot to grab my camera and I’m still using the Sony Ericsson W200i phone, and it only has a VGA camera.

I’m going to freeze these, I think. I leave on Saturday for a trip to Wales with my friend H and her son, and I don’t want to make something Tim will forget to eat, so I’ll freeze them and figure out what to do later.

We also have a bumper crop coming in outside on our “cultivated” bushes, as our neighbour called them. Apparently the difference is the “cultivated” bushes have tighter, smaller sections than the wild ones. No matter to me, a blackberry is a blackberry and mmm, I’m already dreaming of blackberry and apple crumbles made from our own apples and blackberries!

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Walking on a Country Road…

Tim and I have been trying to get out and do more walking lately, and one of the best ways to do so is to walk on one of the many Public Footpaths in our area. Public footpaths are pretty interesting. If you’ve got one on your property, you aren’t allowed to block access to it and need to let people walk on it, so some of the footpaths run down the middle of a farmer’s field or behind someone’s house! Apparently there have even been cases where a house had been built over a public right of way, and the owner had to let people traipse through their house! (not really. If you needed to, you could provide an alternate path and ask that the current path be diverted).

All the paths are marked on the Ordinance Survey map, and Tim happens to have one for the area. Tim’s parents walk the family dog along a public foot path and we did some walking with them (or just with the dog) last year, so this time we set out for a different path. Last week, we drove over to explore a new path in a nearby town, but yesterday we stayed close to home and probably walked about a mile round trip.

The walking was great fun….until we came to a muddy field that almost took my new shoe! In the future when we walk that path, we’re going to make sure it has been dry for a few days, I think. It also started to rain on us, which wasn’t too pleasant either!

We made it about halfway to Scothern (a neighbouring village) yesterday before we had to turn around and head back home due to the weather. Our goal is to walk the same path multiple times and to see how far we can get in a half hour as we improve our stamina.

I got new shoes just for doing all this walking, too. I think I spent at least an hour in Millets trying on multiple pairs of hiking shoes until I settled on the pair I got. They were a little pricey at £69, but not as high as some of the pairs they had (there was a pair I wouldn’t even look at because it was priced at over £120!). And I actually do notice the difference walking in them. My feet don’t hurt as much (or at all) when I’m wearing the boots. They’re a bit cumbersome though. I’m not used to clunky shoes so I keep tripping myself. But it’s still way better than trying to walk the muddy paths in some of the shoes I usually wear! I should take a picture of my shoes sometime ;).

Here are some photos of our ramble yesterday. It looks like (judging from the quality of the photos) my camera might be on it’s last legs (or it was the dying battery), so please excuse the poor quality:

(this also was my first try at using the WordPress gallery function. Pretty neat!)

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Google Walking Directions

Just because Google offers walking directions, doesn’t mean you should follow them.

On Friday, Tim and I made plans to go see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I knew where the movie theatre was and I knew how to drive it, but Tim and I would not have access to a car on Friday. I used Google’s new walking direction feature, and it surprisingly took us the same route as we’d go via car.

Problem: The road (Schoolhouse Lane in Manor Twp) doesn’t have a sidewalk for most of the road! It doesn’t even have a shoulder at parts of it, and some of the homes along the road have Poison Ivy along the curb, so you don’t want to walk on the edge of the lawns. It was hard going and we kept getting dirty looks from the cars whizzing by us, but we finally made it over to the cinema.

As for how we liked the movie, that’s probably best for a different entry.

We’re leaving in a few minutes to head down to DC for a week, so see you on the flip side!

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