Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to the countryside

Tea and I were happy to bid the snow goodbye for a bit the weekend past -- we had some again today, but it didn't stick around -- and enjoyed a Sunday afternoon walking in the hills surrounding Prestbury. Prior to that, our last walk was a nippy one around Broadway Tower two weeks ago. That one was a bit surreal, starting out on the snowy hilltop -- well before that record-breaking snowfall, mind -- working our way down to the clear village of Broadway, and then back up to the white. Broadway was beautiful -- it's Tea's favourite village to date -- and the carvery we had at the Horse and the Hound was delicious.

Tea laughing at my slip
This Sunday's walk started with a spot of lunch at the Plough Inn, and then, after a few streets, we were through our first stile, enjoying the grass below and the sun above. It wasn't long before I was thinking about my wellies -- sitting in the car, but still too far away at that point: there was a tricky jump from a step, over a stream to the muddy bank opposite. Tea didn't think I'd make it, but I did; didn't even spray my legs with mud. However, in searching for a branch or two for her to step on, I slipped in the mud, throwing out my hands to balance myself. I recovered, only to discover that I'd thrown our guide book in my panic; you could barely see it, it was so deep in the mud! In the end, I managed to clean it up a bit, and Tea got across dry, despite dipping her toes in the stream for a moment. (Gotta love Merrells.)

And that wasn't even the biggest water hazard we had to contend with. A great moment on the walk came as I was partway out in a stream, standing on a narrow board. As I'm trying to maintain my balance I hear this splashing behind me, and turn around to see two dogs jump in and start playing around me. I know attributing human emotions to animals is overdone, but I'd swear these two were gloating about how easily they could cross this obstacle, the water up to their bellies. Their owner was more definitive on the matter, splashing through in her knee-high boots a moment later, saying, "You'll have a hard time without wellies!"

It was good fun, though. As Tea said, I think we'll miss days like this the most when our time here is up.

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