Tuesday, July 29, 2008

South Downs Way

I know, I know, I'm and bad person who has been A.W.O.L and not left so much as a post-it of info about my activities....well for the most part my activities has been turn up to work, get on till, fake smile at customers (who mainly act like idiots by the way) listen to them moan about the price of the food as I scan their shopping (which consists mainly of junk food by the way), face up and rotate stock (which is the pinnacle of tedium), go home and veg in front of the TV.....and repeat.

Now....I hate the rainy/cold/overcast weather with which the green and pleasant land I was born into is blessed....and I become rather grumpy and melancholy when this delightful gloom resists the factor that it is in fact supposed to be summer....grrrrr.....the last two week however have resembled something on par with those summer days which you remember from childhood....obviously most of which has been viewed through the glass from my till point. But I do get days off and a wonderfully well trained father who jumps to attention when I shout 'walkies' at the first sign of sunshine.

Dad goes beating during the winter months...this, for those not in the know, involves trudging through woodland and fields in wind, rain and snow persuading pheasants into the air so blokes with guns can shoot at them.....the plus side of this is that dear 'ol dad knows all the interesting routes up on the Downs (yes I’m aware of the contradiction) of which we made a beeline for twice this last week.

The first walk, an easy 4 mile I was assured, began with a gradual climb to the top...during which we were passed by several 'serious' cyclists, complete with spandex togs (not exactly what one wishes to see on a Sunday afternoon)....a few minutes later a straggler who had given up trying to cycle the hill asked as to the location of the South Downs Way to which my father kindly pointed out he was already on it...'and how far does it go' the puffing cyclist inquired....'all the way to the pub' my ever helpful father assured the man.My main stipulation as to the location of our route from me to dear 'ol dad was to see some 'wildlife', because the glorious English countryside aint enough for a fussy madam like I. So at the top of the track we clambered over a fence into a field (something incredibly difficult to do whilst looking ladylike) and ventured across a field to a hidden style positioned in the corner…dad assured me this was still part of the maintained route and that there would be a short walk through a fairly steep wooded area in which we would possibly see some deer if we were quite…..dad’s first mistake here was that when he usually ventures down this track it is winter and therefore devoid of the foliage currently growing around the style (which was also ridiculous high)….he’s second was the pair of shorts he had decided to wear as he jumped down into a bed of brambles and stinging nettles.

The ‘fairly’ steep wooded area actually turned out to be ‘ridiculously’ steep and involved much grasping of tree limbs whilst less than elegantly sliding across loose soil on hands, knees and occasionally arse, much to the amusement of the small herd of deer who passed effortlessly across the track a few yards in front of us.

After pausing for sustenance (consisting of sausage rolls, pork pies and cheese) eaten while balancing on a fallen tree trunk…we slid (dad deciding to use the trunk of a dead tree as ballast…providing the comedy moment of snapping and the flash of pensioner plus tree part overtake me on the slope) our way down to a barb wire fence, which dad insisted included a hole….right up to the point I tore the crotch of my jeans while clambering over the darn thing….’guess they fixed the fence’ dad surmised…..merciful Zeus!

So, anyway….the return to the car was uneventful, wandering past so less than bothered cows in a field and then down a couple of country lanes before heading back to the car the final half mile uphill….joy. Here's some pics from that day:

The Route From Cocking

The view from the top of the Downs

Coming out of the woods

The woods slid....er....walked through

Bepton Church

That was walk one…walk two a few days later was considerably hotter though less eventful…..but still provided many postcardy type moments…..see below (again I've marked the route...gotta love Google Earth):


Kimberly said...

Oh Emma, it's nice to see your still alive! Love the pics of the countryside!!!! No pics of the two of you sliding down the hill side? LOL Shame you ruined your jeans! *snort*

When you go for a walk around Florida, it involves lots of mud and water, a gator or two, snakes, and birds that are almost tall enough to look you in the eye! Sheep, cows, and rolling hills would be a nice change!

When work gets boring or tedious, break out into song and dance routines, it helps! :D

Firefly mom said...

I would love my dad to live close enough for walks - lucky girl! Of course, my dad is a rattlesnake magnet, so maybe not ;D

While reading about your walk down a country lane, the scene from Vicar of Dibley where Geraldine falls in the mud puddle came to mind :) Of course, I would have *much* rather caught a glimpse of the ride down the hill on the log, but alas, nobody was there to film it.

Those photos are lovely. I can't get over how much it looks like my part of the world. We had rain today as well, but we've been promised sun tomorrow. We'll see...

Emma said...

Kim - fraid I was too busy laughing and trying to find something to grab onto to get any pics.

Fireflymom - having the parentals not too far away does come in handy...we've now had two weeks of sunshine and heatwave temps...which means that rain should be coming any day now....prob on my next day off, bah humbug.

It's a pretty decent area I live in...love going up on the downs as often as i can, the beach (well bank of shingle) is 10 minutes on foot and London an hour and a half by train....we do get alot of rain (well it is England afterall) but in my part of the country when the sun shines it can get as hot as the med!

Kimberly said...

It's rainy season here in FL. It's beautiful all day until about 3:00pm. That's when you can watch the dark gray clouds start to roll in. It will rain for 30 min to an hour and then the sun comes out again. That's what it's like in a tropical climate!

I do remember living in Ohio as a kid. When the rain would come, it would last for days! No sun at all, just solid gray! Miserable!!!!! I liked being outside too much! We moved to Orlando when I was 13 and it was the best thing that ever happened to me!

Emma, what is the name of your town? I would like to try and look it up on a map. It sounds lovely!

Emma said...

my current town is Worthing, West Sussex....which i'm afraid 'aint much to look at but then you do have some surrounding villages which are nice Findon and Clapham for example...the Downs are just a few miles north and stretch for miles parallel to the coast.

I grew up in Bognor Regis (again in West Sussex) which is a mere mosey westward from my current abode.

I've been to Florida a few times so i know how the rain showers last there....some cracking thunderstorms too.....xcuse the pun ;-)

Kimberly said...

We are the lighting capital!
Some bragging rights, huh? LOL

You know it's bad when people sit around comparing stories about direct hits on their houses and the number of appliances that were lost! I'm talking DVD players, garage door openers, radios, TVs, coffee makers, . . . anything that plugs into the wall is at risk.