When I left Burnham bound for Hatfield Peverel the rain was falling heavily and I wondered if I would be the only person on the walk today. I reflected too that it was a good opportunity to see if my waterproofs still did their job. Unfortunately that morning I had received messages from 11 of the group members saying they would not be coming due to ‘the conditions’ (no doubt partly caused by the ‘fear of God’ and amber warnings put in place by the meteorological office). Having previously had apologises from around 10 people, for either injury or holidaying, I struggled to think who there was left and more to the point, would they come? What a relief to find six happy faces in the car park and although seven walkers didn’t quite come up to the 15-20 I had told the pub to expect, it was as good a turnout as could be expected.
Whilst contemplating booting up the skies brightened and we managed to keep ourselves dry all morning. Having had a good watering over the last few wet days, the pumpkins in the Hatfield Peverel allotment had increased in size and everything looked fresh and green. We bounced along relating tales of barbecues under rain sodden canopies where only the cook remained outside and the rest of the party watching proceedings from inside – everyone had a barbecue tale to tell. There was a lot of conversation about cars, the delight of hot cinnamon rolls, café lattes and cappuccinos with sprinkles that stuck to your lipstick, and also the benefits of an infra-red sauna – apparently these have to be small in size so ideas were swopped about how to get more people in one (could be fun!).
With all this chatter we stumbled through an area filled with rabbit warrens and were intrigued by the way the rabbits scurried furiously back to their warren at the sight of us. Crossing large fields we remarked on the clouds and the forms they made in the now partially blue sky giving them appropriate names, Boris and Donald come to mind. We hadn’t noticed that we were gently descending until we came to the canal and a near naked canoeist passed close to us giving us a canoeist wave with his paddle.
The gentle uphill section followed close to a small river and we marvelled at the kingfishers swooping along the water course. We ended the day dry and our boots clean and remained quite fresh after our morning’s activities.
It was a unanimous decision that we would meet at the same place for October’s walk and that we would all turn up whatever the weather even if there was deep snow (but no deeper than 4’11” unless a shovel was brought along).
Isn’t fiction amazing? You can invent whatever you like (although some of this is true). In reality we decided not to walk, apologised to the pub and went for a coffee!!