The Windy Wellie Walk

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As I left the village behind me, I kept watch on a horse over the far side of the field. Was he going to gallop across the field to greet me? He didn’t but you can never be sure. Don’t get me wrong, I love horses and had several over the years whilst I was growing up but they can be unpredictable at times.

I had a beautiful 7/8ths Arab palomino horse once called Laughton. I must have been bringing him in for the night or adjusting his rugs when he was spooked by something. He reared up and landed straight down on my foot. For weeks I had a lovely hoof imprinted which turned various shades. I also managed to drop an office typing chair on it a few days later. How I didn’t break any bones I don’t know. I had to see the nurse at the college who was shocked at the colour of my foot but I explained it was on top of another injury.

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I think these are a mixture of Jacob and Soya sheep but not sure what the third variety were watching me.

I was surprised to see the development of a new housing estate in the small village. Then further up the fields I came across the most enormous barn conversion. There used to be one of those old tin shed houses here.

With unbroken views across the fields who wouldn’t want to live here? Well I suppose there are plenty of people who wouldn’t  but it’s a beautiful spot.

The wind was blowing a gale as I slipped and slid in places. I just managed to stay upright as a familiar truck came down the track. It was a local farmer who rents a couple of our fields, so we had a chat for a while. Then it was homeward bound across an enormous field full of turnips and sheep. They seem to love eating this crop.

With the wind in my hair, wellies caked in mud my face was full of smiles – another great walk.

 

Yew Walk?

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This is the Hockley Viaduct railway bridge which was built in 1891 and closed to passengers in 1960. This fell into disrepair over the years and was vandalised in a few places as people clambered up the bank to walk along it and pull on old leavers and signs. However, it was reopened as a proper footpath/cycle path in 2013 and gorgeous views across the River Itchen and towards the City of Winchester can be seen.

I left this behind me and I spent the next 2 hours on footpaths only!

I met up with a lovely lady walking her Cocker Spaniel, or was it the other way around? 😉 She was a local lady so we had quite a bit in common to chat about.

We parted company and the landscape changed from a boggy meadow field to a tunnel of Yew trees with a carpet of Autumn leaves adorning the floor. I almost wanted to grab an armful of leaves and throw them up in the air.

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This rope swing was so tempting that I actually took off my coat and scrambled up the bank. I grabbed the rope, (it was quite high off the ground) I stood for a few seconds whilst sensibility and memories hit me.

It took me back to when I was 9 years old, one of the oldest yet smallest in the class. We had a huge grass playground and a large apple orchard to play in. Lots of my peers would climb this one particular Oak tree, it was huge! One day I was persuaded and a couple of friends helped me reach the branch so I could heave myself up. I’d made it!

Of course the bell rang, playtime was over and I was stuck. Time lapsed and then I spotted the Deputy Head and the entire class (all 16 of them) running across the grass towards me. Nobody laughed or jeered but I still felt embarrassed though totally relieved. Needless to say I never did climb that tree again. This was the reason I left the rope sw2015-11-29 13.53.59ing swaying backwards and forwards whilst I grabbed my coat and wondered on again.

 

The rest of the walk passed without much drama. I could hear the wind howling either side of me but I was completely protected by the tunnel of trees.

I crossed over a bridge and dropped back down into civilisation. I decided to drop into the supermarket for a decaffeinated latte. It was good to sit down, the last part had been a fairly lengthy steep climb.

There’s nothing like a good walk to get the heart beating faster.

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I loved how these Yew tree routes clung to the bank like a Limpet.