Posts tagged ‘walking’

July 13, 2013

Getting Away

As the weather looked to stay hot all week, the girls and I went camping for a couple of nights at our favourite camping place, Burnbake, near Corfe Castle.

It was so good to get away from the domestic grind, work and suburbia. There is very little to do when you don’t have to tidy up floors or process laundry, wash up dishes or answer the phone or send emails or listen to drilling, banging and radios blaring. Three of our near neighbours are doing building work and it was starting to drive me a little bit mad.

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So, the tranquillity of a campsite far from a road was a welcome change. I did nothing and the girls played. Then I read a book and they played. Then we went on a mega walk to Studland Bay which was well worth the journey but ended up being our longest walk ever at just over 7 miles in all!

Here we are on the outward leg of the journey. Miss Froo wouldn’t wear a hat so she was using the ‘parasol’. This is the view from the top of a hill overlooking Poole harbour

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This is an amazing rock that was in our path. It’s called Agglestone Rock and it’s a local oddity as no-one really knows how it got there

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The beach was a very welcome sight but there was plenty of digging needing to be done. Whenever we go to a beach with J he always starts digging a hole and last year in Lyme Regis he dug one so deep that when he stood in it we couldn’t see him! The girls still have a way to go to beat that.

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I totally forgot to take my swimmers so ended up swimming in my me-made undies and a crepe Novita top that I was wearing. Both dried out well on the walk back! My me-made wardrobe served me well: I only took two tops, a vest, a skirt and a dress and they were just what the weather called for. Has it ever been so hot in July????


Now we are home again, the building work continues but I am refreshed. Another bonus of camping is that it re-sets my nocturnal clock back to a diurnal one and I’ve been getting up at 8.30 since we got back. It’s quite nice to sit in the garden reading at that time and the day is very long when I don’t start it at 11am! I’m reading Simon Jenkins’ A Short History of England which I’ve borrowed from J. It isn’t a light read, unlike the latest Rebus which I borrowed from El Famosisimo and finished in a day. It’s great to have boys who buy books that I want to read 🙂

March 10, 2011

A Bit of Green

We’ve had a very boring week with too much business and not enough ha ha hee hee so we went out today quickly to a place that is a bit of a local secret.

The lakes are old quarries belonging to NPower and at one point were in danger of being used to ‘store’ ash from the power station. In the end the lakes were saved and are now under the wing of local wildlife and nature trust which organised the building of this hide with the help of volunteers

Inside looking up into the roof

and from around the side of the lake

It was a wild and windy afternoon but very bright and clear and we definitely blew our cobwebs away despite only being out for under an hour. We also found what I was looking for: signs of green and fresh newness

Photo credits: Miss Amoo

September 18, 2010

Labyrinth 2

The day dawned all fresh and zingy so I was sure we would make it to see the Abingdonian Labyrinth at some point between 2 and 4 this afternoon.

My bike got two new inner tubes and tyres last week as the original ones which must have dated from the 80s finally gave up the ghost, so we were able to set off without needing to get the pump out.

The home of the labyrinth is a church which is very close to another church in a very quiet bit of town which has Private Roads and very large houses.

For such a small town there were plenty of places to worship back in the 1800s. We parked our bikes round the back and went in through the side door where the labyrinth is within 8 steps of the entrance.

How can anyone look at a labyrinth and not feel drawn to walking it? I led and the girls followed and a man who was in the church called to me “What are you doing? That’s just for kids!” Does God frown on adults enjoying themselves, I thought to myself but I didn’t bother replying as he had already sort of jolted the peace. The path has lots of short stretches and covers each quadrant separately which means that you are never very far from the centre.

We got to the centre and stood for a moment then I walked back on my own as the girls had spotted a Traidcraft table stacked with goodies. While they were wandering about they also saw the Stations of the Cross, the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and the font and the candles in the red sanctuary lights and more. Questions questions questions.

I was brought up Catholic by a Catholic mum and an atheist dad and went to Catholic primary and secondary schools as well as being a weekly churchgoer but since I turned my back on it I have left all the symbolism and history at the back of my mind and it hasn’t been a part of our life at all.

Today I found myself talking about the stages of the cross, baptism, the resurrection, who Mary and Joseph were and tabernacles and blessed bread. This is a whole area of knowledge that I realise ties me to many others but is not something I share with my own. Does it matter if they don’t know the stories of the bible? Or the prayers or the history of beliefs?

These thoughts trouble me periodically and today I was relived when they decided to sit down and found that the chairs had a bum groove which they found almost impossible not to sit in.

I liked the side struts and pondered on the necessity to make people sit in a certain way and whether it would be really bad to stand on one to get a better picture of the labyrinth. I decided against standing on one and this is the best picture I could get

There are better pictures here

I may go back another Saturday on my own and walk and walk and walk.

August 1, 2010


The other day I was googling about for mandalas to colour in as Miss Froo was demanding “More colouring in paper,” when I found a link to a desktop finger labyrinth It looked a lot like a labyrinth that Jeamethis, Miss Froo and I found on a visit to Dorchester Abbey a while ago whilst killing time waiting for Miss Amoo to finish her gymnastics class in Berinsfield. That one was in chalk and a seven circuit Classic form. Can you tell I’ve been reading about labyrinths?

The history of the Abbey at Dorcester, St Birinus and Berinsfield is really interesting and we have wiled hours away in the library in Berinsfield and in the Abbey reading so as not to sit in a claustrophobic room in the Gym listening to (mostly) yummy mummies droning on how difficult their lives are. There are only so many times you can think “Take the kid out of school, stop going to all the activities that are so hard to co-ordinate and just BE”

I found a link to real life labyrinths and found that there is one in a churchyard in Chalgrove which isn’t too far away. I’ve been planning to go and walk it and had this Sunday down for doing it. That plan was sort of messed up by the guy in Horspath village we sold a Blackberry Pearl to on Ebay not being able to make it work so needing a home visit to sort it out and some bloody student tenants who should have moved out yesterday wanting to have another day to leave the house still-not-quite-clean-enough for the landlord. At least it doesn’t get dark until after 9pm so setting off at almost 5 o’clock wasn’t all bad.

If we had got there before 4pm we could have had a look at the medieval paintings inside the church but as it was the outside was interesting enough. The maze is cut into the grass and probably looks a bit better when the grass is green! It was still easy to follow the path and we all set off. All except Mr G who thought tat walking back and forth would be a waste of time. In a churchyard with nowt else to do (!) He gave in though and set off to follow us.

This labyrinth doesn’t have a centre but a place to stop under a tree. Mr G caught me up

and we looked back to the children who had got bored part way through and run back hopping over the paths.

Then we had a look at all the gravestones, some of families that Mr G is familiar with from going to a secondary school with a massive catchment area covering most of the small villages on one side of Oxford.

There were creative people buried here

The church tower has a one handed clock which I think said it was six o’clock

All thoughtful stuff. After walking all around the church and talking to a little dog with her owner we went to the pub for a drink and met a donkey which didn’t say eeyore, much to Miss Amoo’s disgust. She couldn’t believe that she had been duped by books to think that the word accurately represented the noise that came from the donkey’s mouth.

Home again, I looked up why the clock had such odd numbers on it and then kicked myself on remembering that there is a labyrinth in St Michaels Church in Abingdon which we could have cycled to in the week! I@ll let you know when we’ve seen it.

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