Monday, 27 September 2010

clear blue Sunday

We headed west again this weekend and missed the dreary weather back home. Sunday found us climbing The Whimble, a steep hill topped with an ancient round barrow, in the heart of the Radnor Forest. Surprisingly not very wooded, quite steep and 360 degree views deep into mid Wales. The sun shone almost fiercely, the sky was blue and those two specks in the pic are buzzards circling. We met no one until we were well on our way back down and the only sounds were of those buzzards, grouse and crows - a cathartic day's walking, with quite a bit of eating to follow. In the evening met up with friends from way back and time stood still. Recommended.

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Walked from Aldbury through Clipperdown and on the Ridgeway across Pitstone Hill last night and tasted the best apples since I was a kid - windfalls: huge, red, juicy and sweet-sour. I thought I was just getting old and jaded but now I am convinced that the world around me has changed. Before biting into them the scent hit me and I was back in the orchards of my youth. The blackberries were good too. It was blowing a gale on Pitstone Hill earlier in the week but last night was sunny and calm with the first hint of Autumn in the air. Today, back to the Thames with only 28 miles to go and made it to Kelmscott in time for a cream tea. We are filling in a gap we left in the route before the last stretch beyond Lechlade and aim to finish before the nights draw in. The milky river meanders on between water meadows filled with grazing swans (and cows), and our magic moment was when we almost stepped upon a hare, which then shot off across the field, one ear still bent from sleep, leaving a flattened crescent in the grass warm to touch.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


How ever many years it took us to walk the Ridgeway, so with the Thames path - every year we say we will finish it, but still it wends on. When the days begin to lengthen at the start of the summer we make our resolutions, in September as the evenings draw in we renew them with vigour - too late!
Kelmscott, the Thameside home of William Morris was our Autumn treat. With limited summer open days I had been intending to visit for the past thirty years and never had. The internet is a great tool! We have walked almost to Lechlade and with only two open days before the  house closes for the winter we made it. The sun shone on the pretty gardens still laid out as the great man decreed. Apples hung heavy on the trees and we ate outside the great barn as lazy wasps sucked on windfalls  and we sucked on local ale. Extremely pleasant. Inside all was much as when the great man was there - his daughter May lived there until the 1930's and allowed no changes to be made before leaving it in her will to Oxford University. Her hand embroidered hangings still decorate her father's bed and his own weaving hangs in the hall near the unfaded preparatory drawings. All is very peaceful, a rural idyll. We will go again.....

Monday, 6 September 2010

lost for words

Where has tedsmum been all summer? after a year of psychotherapy she found herself lost for words........

my favourite image from a summer of ups and downs is this one of me - crying with laughter. a very good day, we walked barefoot across the sands of Rhossili to Llangennith and back along the grassy footpath at the foot of the beacon. soft earth between my toes, the glittering bay, a warm wind in my hair: whatever were we laughing at? it escapes me now ....

Time for a new header - near Lechlade in the far reaches of the Thames, milky green and lazy , trailing through water meadows of fat cows, framed by an abundance of gorgeous, pink friars balsam. The last days of summer.