Wednesday, April 12, 2006



Yesterday was fun.  I prevailed upon my D in law and granddaughter to join me on the next leg of The Coleridge Way; another son and grandchildren had helped me do the first which was Nether Stowey to Holford.   Part  2 was from Holford toWest Quantoxhead – 3.9 miles according to the guide – rather longer  our way.

It’s a fair way from us to Holford so I was to drive there, park the car, do the walk and the men would meet us at the Windmill pub and drive us back to my car.  My car is an ancient Escort – Bluebell, whose blueness is now tinged with a green alga as she lives outside in all weathers.  Which probably accounts for our not being able to unlock the doors.  However son No 3 who is big and strong and very handy with machinery managed to open them, so off the three of us went.

We had excellent instructions which had worked very well on the first leg, along with my son’s map.  This time I didn’t think to take a map.  Not a good idea as you have no idea of distance and the orienteering is a bit hit and miss.

At Holford we drove up the far side of the pub looking for the village green car-park. We took a right when we should have taken a left and ended back at the pub.  I started to turn round in the narrow road and was thankful Sheila was a girl and therefore able to ask for directions.  Unfortunately there was no one around so we decided to turn the car round and go back up the first route.

The three point turn became more of an eight point turn and Sheila, appalled at the stiffness of the steering and trying to help, grabbed the steering wheel so there were four hands frantically wrenching the wheel as we reversed – into the pub.  Just the gentlest of bumps it was, so we didn’t bother to wake up the sleeping pub.  Twice more Sheila got out and asked and finally we ended up at the sweetest village car park tucked away out of sight.

Such a shame – today and Monday were beautiful days but yesterday was grey and a bit rainy.  However we got views over the Bristol Channel, saw Alfoxton House where Wordsworth lived, saw an ancient Dog Pound and missed a Hugenot silk mill.  Wild moor land, deep combes and forests as black as the ace of spades made it an interesting and varied walk.

It all went a bit pear-shaped at Perry Combe where we were instructed not to take the gate to the A39 and to ignore all paths uphill.  There didn’t seem to be a path ahead so we went up and up and up – looking for a stile into the forest.  At the top we walked along – skirting the forest and eventually dropped down and down and down until we were back on track, exhausted and cursing our lack of a map.

We phoned the men four times – each time certain that our arrival at our rendezvous point – the Windmill Pub – was imminent.   At last, weary, wet and bedraggled we arrived.  The Windmill was awash with people including my chum Frank.  Frank and I are on the A team of |Newspapers for the Blind and he had his 89th birthday last week.

After an excellent lunch we managed to replace the calories we had lost and were driven back to pick up Bluebell.  Home again and after a hot bath and a nap felt like a new woman.  Just as well as today is James’s sixth birthday.


fjl said...

Patti, blog about the very unhappy period looming on the horizon, instead of avoiding it. :-) I'll hold your hand. You know I've been through this stuff aswell, don't you.

PI said...

Felicity:funnily enough my D in law was very interested in the blog and I was telling her of what was looming. You must be telepathic. I'll get on with it.

fjl said...

People are always saying things like that to me, like I'm scary in that way, like I have a radar attached to my ears. It's being a caseworker I think, you get a sort of second sight or useful style memory. xx
It's time I admitted I do have it, and my nearest and dearest have alot to put up with.

R. Sherman said...

Pat, you need to post photos of the hike. I love outdoor pics. The EMBLOS and official children want to do two weeks in England and Scotland. We need ideas. For ideas, I need, no, demand, photos!


R. Sherman said...


This is what I get by commenting before reading the other comments.

I don't know what's "looming." Neither I nor the Blogiverse needs to know. I'm sorry for the flip nature of the previous comment. I hope everything is OK and your friends will be with you.


Theblonde said...

Unhappiness looming? Whatever it is, I wish you all the best of internet support. I'm sure you'll have lots of real-life support around you and I hope you'll still find the mental energy to keep posting, it might be theraputic to get away from the thoughts of whatever it is. I enjoy reading of what your younger life was like for you. Your kids and theirs will be able to pass on more of a family history to those in the future, a personal view, so good for you that you make the effort.

PI said...

fjl: what a storm in a tea-cup we've started. I shall have to 'fess up my wimpiness.

Randall: another hurdle; how to get photos from my camera to my blog. I shall try. the only way I learn is by hands on trying.

Randall and theblonde: It's so sweet of you to be sympathetic and understanding but Felicity knew that I am coming (in my blog)to an unhappy period, but it was all so long ago 1949 (do the math as our American pals say) and it did have a happy ending - albeit thirty years later. I didn't have thirty years of misery. It'll all come out in the wash - at times it is a voyage of discovery for me.
Have I made it clear? I am sorry for the misunderstanding.

fjl said...

Yes, the tea cup runneth over ;-)

Patti has often said about it on my blog, where I give out tlc. I think it will be very interesting and productive to hear about Patti's life downs, and helpful for her, as she often says. We discover in this way at times x

R. Sherman said...


Universal Soldier said...

Sounds like my idea of a good day out.

PI said...

US: yo and GU would have enjoyed it and would no doubt have avoided the bump on the pub and the deviation.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hehe, I like that ol' car, it has character, bumping pubs and what not.

I was in England in 1981, and I loved those little villages. I saw many contented cows on hills too. They weren't mad then :-)

Guyana-Gyal said...

James is your...grandson?

Happy birthday, little fella.

PI said...

GG: now you are teasing me! Our cows are now as sane as you and me. Or perhaps as sane as you. They're OK now - it's the birds we have to worry about.

Yes James is next to the youngest grand-child and a sweetie.